Posted by: Jo | November 27, 2015

Silence Is Golden

“… a time to be silent and a time to speak.”

(Ecclesiastes 3:7)

image A group of us were recently chatting about an acquaintance and one of the members remarked, “He is definitely the strong silent type.” Afterwards I was thinking about my friend’s words and I remembered my father using that same expression. My father was always quoting little sayings which he would produce every now and then and we children would mouth them quietly while he was speaking, as we all knew them off by heart. One of them has always stayed in my mind, although I wasn’t wise enough to implement it many times, thus proving him to be correct. This is what he would say;

“Better to remain silent and thought to be a fool than open your mouth and prove it.”

I was surprised to find this verse in Proverbs that supports that saying of my father.

“Even a fool is thought wise if he remains silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue” (Proverbs 17:28)

“When to speak/ When to remain silent” this can become a burning question for all of us and the writer of Ecclesiastes makes it clear (3:7) that there are appropriate times both to speak or remain silent.

Blurting out words without giving due thought to how they will be received, can have disastrous results and Scripture warns us about this;

“Reckless words piece like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)

One of the reasons words get blurted out is that the art of listening seems to be on a decline. When we communicate through e-mails and texting we lose that important part of conversation, the body language. Noticing the pain in someone’s eyes, the unshed tears, the trembling of a lip, the clenched hands, alerts us to what lies behind the spoken word. Also the pace of life nowadays leaves little time to spend just listening to those who really need our attention and often the problem arises because we are too absorbed in our own thoughts to hear what begs to be heard. We need to practice being silent and practice listening.

“He who answers before listening – that is his folly and his shame” (Proverbs 18:13)

image Vowing to improve our listening skills is a great project for all of us to undertake and I am sure we will be surprised at how the depth of our relationships deepens, whether it be family members, co workers, neighbours or friends.

The sweet old song calling silence – golden – can also be applied to our relationship with our Lord. When we are busy assailing the Heavenly Father with all our problems, we are not allowing any time for him to speak. Sometimes the most rewarding times spent with the Lord are those when we deliberately remain silent before him, basking in his love, allowing that love to flow around us, actively concentrating on listening to his voice, being still before him.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)


  1. Narold had lots of wise words, Pity we’ve taken so long to hear them. I’ll try to listen more. Thanks Jo.


  2. How right you are Jo! Today I shall try less empty chatter and more thoughtful silence. I love the way your father put it – a modern expression of the proverbs.


  3. Jo, I love this blog today. You have written of so much wisdom. Proverbs 12 and 17 especiailly. Thank you once again


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