Silence Speaks Volumes
“The tongue has the power of life and death.” Proverbs 18:21 (niv)
God’s word compels me to season my own words, to say everything in love, to make sure whatever comes out of my mouth is not cursing, but blessing.
I’ll admit I’m not too great at it. For example, I’m pretty sure speaking blessings of love doesn’t include a lot of yelling, even if your little boy is terrorizing his big sister with a remote-control scorpion while your three-year-old dumps hot pink fingernail polish on the hardwood floor. Something lovingly firm does need to be said—and done—in a situation like that. But I’ve been reminded lately that in other situations, limiting one’s mouth to blessings of love may mean saying nothing at all.
My friend Hunter got a huge job promotion last year. When he took the promotion, he was unaware there were any big problems with the firm. However, almost immediately, he was bombarded with money issues that stemmed from his former boss’s mismanagement. When he tightened the budget in order to deal with the problems, a lot of people got mad. Many employees complained to Hunter, and still others complained about Hunter, even suggesting he didn’t know what he was doing, or that perhaps he was too young to do the job.
When people griped, it would have been easy for Hunter to place the blame where it was rightfully due instead of taking all of that heat. I never heard him do that. Every word I heard him say about his old boss was honoring. And when it came to questions about the budget, he just didn’t say anything at all.
Hunter’s silence had a huge impact on me. The old boss was able to retire with dignity, largely at Hunter’s expense. And by not saying anything, Hunter spoke volumes for the cause of Jesus. To those few of us who knew what was happening, his silence said this: I choose blessing.
That’s the principle of Jesus’ love: My life for yours. And our tongues have the power to bestow that blessing or to take it away.
FAITH STEP: Before you speak today, make sure your words pass the “blessing” test. And when in doubt, leave them out.
Written by Gwen Ford Faulkenberry
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