I was told by my grandfather; “Son, it is better to be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and dispel all doubt.” I do not know where he learned that truth, but he was a faithful Sunday school teacher for the Methodist Church throughout most of his life. At least until he pushed for the end of segregation in the Church Sunday school program, and they quickly gave him the left foot of fellowship. Go figure. I come from a long line of spiritual rebels who question; “But this is the way we have always done it.”
Although not word for word in the way my grandpa said it, Proverbs says; “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” (Proverbs 17:28) My dad used to say, “Silence is golden.” I find a theme here, do you? The tongue cannot only get us in trouble, lots of it, our flood of words can also keep us from being able to listen to God and others honestly. James, the Lord’s brother says; “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19–20) It seems if our mouth is running, apparently our ears are not.
When we pray, we often talk to God when we should be actively listening to God. Remember, God alive is speaking to us, and we need to seek to know His heart. Many of us are not listening, have become dull of hearing, or are talking too much. (See Hebrews 5:11) Our ability to listen to the voice of God has become increasingly difficult for each generation with new distractions. We also have lost the ability to be still as we are driven harder and harder by the tyranny of the urgent. The next time you need the Lord’s help, consider what Moses said in Exodus; “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:14) Don’t panic. Be still. Be silent and see the salvation of your God.