Practicing Silence

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by Ruth O’Neil

When I was a child I can remember my mom telling us four kids that the conversation wore her out. I never understood that…until my oldest child started talking. Then I had two more kids. I now understand it perfectly. Senseless chatter is understandable in children, but have you ever known an adult whose conversation wore you out? You could feel your eyes rolling back in your head. You wish they would take a breath just for the one second of silence.  

Some people don’t like too much silence. Not me. I don’t mind silence. In fact, I revel in it. I can work so much better if there is complete silence. I’ve even been known to turn off fans that make too much noise.  

However, I wish it were true that my voice was silent, but it’s not. More often than I like to admit (probably every day), I spew words out of my mouth that I want to take back. That may be why God made me a writer. When I write, I can go back and edit so my words don’t sound so harsh, or maybe I realize I don’t need certain words at all.  

We all have opinions, and we want to give voice to those opinions. Sometimes our voices need to be heard. But, what would this world be like if we each took a moment to think, or better yet, to pray, before we spoke?  

There are so many times we need to practice silence. Ecclesiastes 3:7 tells us, “…a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Proverbs 13:3 says, “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” How many times have you heard of a celebrity, or maybe you know someone personally, who opened their mouth and ruined their career with just a few words?  

Silence is good, and necessary, for listening. It is in the silence that we can hear the voice of God. If we are doing all the talking, we won’t hear what He has to say.  

An old proverb says that “silence is golden.” So today, practice silence. Do a lot more listening to those around you. You might be surprised at the difference silence makes in you.

About the Author:

Ruth OneilRuth O’Neil has been writing for over 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles in numerous publications. She loves to touch the emotions when she writes. “If I can make one person laugh or cry, I’ll consider myself successful.” Her first novel “Come Eat at My Table” has just come out in ebook form and can be purchased on her website. She homeschools her three children (well, one now, as two have graduated). She and her husband have been married for 20-plus years. In her spare time she enjoys quilting, crafting, and reading. You can visit her on her blog at ruths-real-life (dot) or her website at ruthoneil (dot)

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