Insert Words Here

…And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Words are powerful.

Praise God who has declared countless blessings over our lives. Praise Christ who spoke prayers over his disciples, both past, present and future. Praise the Spirit who intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

So now, consider James’ (3:9-10) challenge: ‘With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.’

‘I was only joking… I didn’t mean it… Just kidding.’

The Spirit has challenged me lately to watch my tongue. To learn to bite it – to refrain from speaking words of discouragement and sarcasm and skepticism over others. Unless I have truth to speak in love, my mouth should be shut. Instead, my ears should be open, listening to the Spirit and waiting for Him to speak and guide.

‘Though silence sometimes involves the absence of speech, it always involves the act of listening’ – Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline.

It’s a challenge for someone who often fills silence with meaningless conversation. Who struggles to move to a deeper level without getting nervous and making a joke. I’m watching and learning how to speak encouragement and affirmation over others. To bless people as I walk past them in the street. To think carefully about the things I said and not just drip out any old line .

It’s been an experience. I haven’t listened so much, or observed so much as I do now. I try and make the silence meaningful too – to think on Christ. To concentrate on all the He has done and is doing. To give him moments to speak. Silence by itself is useless – silence concentrated on listening sees things happening.

Words are powerful. We need more quiet, please.