Silence is the language of the soul. When spoken words fall short, the silence of the soul takes over. Man has been uniquely blessed with the gift of speech and, language is the vehicle of speech through which thoughts are shared and feelings are expressed. However, silence has more power than words. That’s why the famous English proverb says, “Speech is silver, Silence is golden.”
The wise King Solomon in his words of wisdom said that there is “a time to keep silence and a time to speak.” Not all occasions demand silence. Had it been so, we would have found it easier to practice this art. To know when to be silent and when to speak up is an invaluable skill.
SILENCE IS A POWERFUL WEAPON
Questions elicit answers. Silence elicits action!
- Silence creates an ability to listen – Most arguments gather heat because none of the parties involved are willing to listen. Listening enhances the ability to understand. But, when no one is willing to be silent for a while there is no listening and no understanding.
- Silence passes on the message more effectively – It is natural to give back to people who hurt us. Remaining silent when there are storms raging within is difficult. Not all people possess the ability to interpret silence. Hence, exercising this skill before people who have the sensitivity to interpret it leads to the desirous results.
- Silence is a mark of wisdom – We have all heard it often said, “Empty vessels sound much.” People who resort to mindless chatter and unopinionated commentaries are people with hollow minds. Wise people listen more and speak less. And when they speak, there flow pearls of wisdom from their mouths.
- Silence helps keep the peace – Peace is the most elusive luxury in the world today. There is widespread unrest in almost all quarters, be it in families or workplaces. In such a scenario, practicing the art of silence helps reap rich personal dividends. It is a rare virtue to be at peace when all hell seems to be breaking loose.
- Silence is an indication of self-control – Self-control is a gift from the Almighty. It cannot be easily acquired or practiced without strength from above. Practising restraint with God’s strength is an indication of the work of divinity within.
The silence that amazes me the most is the silence of Jesus Christ in the process of His crucifixion. The Bible reckons that though He was without sin, He became sin for mankind, took upon Himself the abusive words, lies, cheatings, murders, rapes, adulteries, hatreds and all possible wrongdoings that you and I come across today. He had to switch places with the sinful humanity to redeem them from facing the gory consequences of their sins. Being God Himself, He humbled Himself to brace the torturous death on the Cross of Calvary. But, did He earn sympathy, appreciation and applause from the people around? Not in the least!
Adding on to His pain were remarks like, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”, “Let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him.”
How did He respond?
He did not open His mouth. He did not shout back at His critics and accusers. He did not try to justify Himself. He was as silent as a lamb which is taken for slaughter. The silence of God! And when He did open His mouth, it was to offer forgiveness to His offenders. What a picture!
Friends, when you face injustice, ridicule, criticisms, unfair treatments and your heart is raging against your offenders remember the picture of Jesus on the Cross. He silently offered Himself up for sacrifice and that is why His silence speaks volumes to all humanity today.
In the world of protests and contests for rights, not all can have the assurance of justice. But, remaining true to God and to oneself can ensure peace within. This does not mean that we should remain mute spectators to all the ills happening around us. However, remaining silent when one expects to be least heard adds weight to our demands.