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You Bother Me

No one has ever accused me of being quiet, subdued, withdrawn, or introverted. From my earliest days, I was ever gregarious and most of the time in trouble for talking too much. People who are reserved, quiet, and more refined have always fascinated me.  I watch them in crowds of people as they speak graciously, quietly, and courteously to others and then stand with dignity listening to the words flowing freely from the mouth of a more verbose friend.

What about the person that is calm and collected following some huge event that has disturbed the status quo abruptly and that will take some time to correct?  I am always intrigued by those that never ruffle or lose their composure.  No matter what the stimuli that has stirred everyone else to near fever pitch, there is that one individual that seems to be protected by a bell of silence over them to keep them from experiencing the chaos of those all around them. Those souls that are rooted deeply, wired to be more low-key, and in full self-control no matter what the disruption, are the calm spirits that can bring order once again to chaos.

Solomon wrote about the benefits of a quiet spirit….

Proverbs 17:28 – “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”

Psalm 141:3 – “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!”

Proverbs 17:27 – “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.”

Habakkuk 2:20  – “But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.”

What did Solomon mean when he spoke of “a time to keep silence” in Ecclesiastes 3:7? One writer answers this question by pointing out that there is “a foolish silence, a sullen silence, a cowardly silence, and a despairing silence. None of these is recommended. However, there is a prudent, holy, gracious silence to which Scripture enjoins us.”

If we do not learn to practice this kind of restraint, we will speak injurious words that stir up anger (Proverbs 15:1) and use harsh, uncontrolled language (Prov. 21:23). Unguarded lips always lead to serious consequences. Someone has listed six mischievous “Misses” that result: Miss Information, Miss Quotation, Miss Representation, Miss Interpretation, Miss Construction, and Miss Understanding. They are the result of talking when we should be quiet.

What power there is in the silence of self-control! John Wesley observed this in a disagreement between two women. One was speaking vehemently and gesturing wildly, while the other stood perfectly still and tranquil and unperturbed. Finally, the first woman stamped her foot and shouted, “Speak! so I can have something more to say to you!” Wesley commented, “That was a lesson to me: Silence is often the best answer.” (Copied).