Know When to Be Silent

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Know When to Be Silent

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Sometimes silence is the best answer we can give, as Jesus did before His persecutors (Matthew 12:18-21 Matthew 12:18-21 18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit on him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles. 19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment to victory. 21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
American King James Version×
). Although silence may be good at times, there are also times when words chosen with wisdom and care can be golden. When we speak, we ought to do so with grace, seasoned with salt, and knowing how to answer each one (Colossians 4:6 Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.
American King James Version×
). Grace considers others, salt adds some humor and punch to our words, and the knowledge of how to answer will keep us from blundering with our tongue.

Humans all need to learn, and we learn by being taught as well as by trial and error. All of us have spoken out of turn and needed to be forgiven, so we should be generous to those who have not yet learned when and how to speak with wisdom. Often we pay dearly for the “slip of the lip” or for speaking when we should listen. Those errors are serious, but not as serious as it could be when we speak out of turn in our relationship with God. Before Him, silence is the best answer, as Job learned (Job 38:2 Job 38:2Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
American King James Version×
). In our relationship with the Almighty, we need to know that before Him we should be silent (Zechariah 2:13 Zechariah 2:13Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.
American King James Version×
). But Jesus also taught us how speak to God (Matthew 6:9 Matthew 6:9After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name.
American King James Version×
).