SILENCE IS THE NEW LANGUAGE
BY: SUNNY ORLY COFFMAN
There are many scriptures regarding the use of the tongue and the end result of not being wise in how you use it.
PROVERBS 10:19 “In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking. But he who restrains his lips is wise.”
ECCLESIASTES 5:3:“A fool’s voice is known by his many words.”
ECCLESIASTES“A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; a babbler is no different. The words of wise
10:11-14: man’s mouth are gracious. But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up. The words of his mouth begin with foolishness, and the end of his talk is raving madness. A fool also multiplies words.”
JAMES 3:1-6:“Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder, wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.”
MATTHEW 12:36“But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Let’s take a look at some of the practical, every day kinds of things that can affect our lives by lack of discipline in the area of speaking, versus remaining silent.
If you were in a literal battle, would it be wisdom to let your enemy know all about you… how you think… what your plan is to defeat him? Do we have a real enemy in this spiritual walk? Most certainly Satan is a roaring lion, walking about trying to devour whoever will give him enough ammunition to shoot them. Remember, Jesus has already defeated this bully, but he continues to draw his strength in the only place he can – through the foolishness of man. How many times do we speak aloud just the very thing to give power to launch an attack. Satan cannot read your mind, and if you remain silent concerning an area of personal weakness, the chances are good that the enemy of your soul [mind, will, emotions] will never know that the weakness exists and will not be able to use that information against you.
I’m always a little surprised when a believer – dealing with a person they know is controlled by Satan – talks to this person as though they are free and speaks intimate details of their own life and the plans they have for the future …. apparently never having thought through the fact that when they speak to this person, they are also speaking to Satan. We know that Satan is not omnipresent, but he does have an open communication line through his information-gathering imps that indwell many people.
This is where wisdom comes into play. The wisdom of God will give you discernment to know when to speak and when to be silent.
I’m asked many questions in the course of a week. Many times I am shown not to answer certain questions asked of people. If you walk with any concern for man’s opinion, it will be difficult to stand up, flat-footed and refuse to respond, when silence is the wisdom thing to do.
Even sweet, innocent people ask many unnecessary questions simply out of habit… in a vain attempt to be sociable, but without wisdom. Since you know answering will reveal things wisdom directs you not to reveal, you must be healed enough in your emotional realm to not be concerned what the other person may think when you simply don’t answer their question. Sometimes you can politely divert the conversation and other times, there may be a long, silent pause. You must stand firm and confident and maintain your position of wisdom [strength]. James 3:17 says that “the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
The Lord would have us not only walk in wisdom, but walk in His love as well. He is our only reliable example. He is the pattern we are to use in making choices for daily living. Many times, Jesus refused to answer questions when He perceived silence would serve a better purpose; and many times He simply disappeared in a crowd only to retreat to a quiet place to talk to His Father. Our first priority must be talking to our Father... getting only His opinion… and disregarding opinions of men. If we truly speak only what the Father gives us to speak and remain silent all other times, we will find our walk more peaceful and more productive.
God has been taking me through a recent discipline. He is weaning me from talking on the telephone. It has been hard. I was unaware of an addiction to talking. Many people call in the course of a week and most all of the conversations center on spiritual matters. Many need counsel in various areas. I’ve had to search my heart, on occasion, as I’ve continued through this discipline. Do I need to be needed? Do I take pleasure that others seek me out for advice? How have I felt as God has withdrawn me from this activity? Am I content to be alone with Him and to only speak when He chooses to speak through me? Am I truly a yielded vessel in His hands to use as He chooses, or do I have a hidden agenda that demands to be satisfied? Do I really want to see that He gets ALL of the credit for whatever good may be coming through me, or do I secretly want to take a little bit of that credit for myself? Am I quick to let someone know that I’ve been praying for them when I hear a good testimony about something that has happened in their life, or am I willing to remain silent and know that God is the only one that could have brought the blessing, and if He chose to use me to pray in the blessing, who needs to know that? Am I seeking the approval of man or the eternal blessings and rewards from God?
These are deep, soul-searching questions, but the answers may give you some indication of where you are with the Lord and what areas need to be more yielded to His total control. I’ve heard it said, if Jesus is not Lord of All, then He is not Lord at all. I do believe He desires to be Lord of every area of your life…. to see you free of all the resistors and to see the power of the Holy Spirit freely flowing through you to others He chooses to bless.
One day several years ago, the Lord had me go look into a mirror. He lovingly pointed out that I had two  ears and only one  mouth. He let me know that was no accident. He encouraged me to listen more, speak less and observe the results. He also mentioned that it is impossible to receive instructions from Him if I’m busy talking.
One night I recall having a dream, or perhaps it was a vision. In this experience, I was somehow able to SEE the words that people around me were speaking… so many unnecessary words being flung out onto the airways. And as these words were projected out of the mouth of each speaker, I could see them landing in various places – on the sides of cars, buildings, park benches, trees, walls, garbage trucks, 18 wheelers, airplanes, etc… suddenly these useless words had become “graffiti” plastered in places that caused all of the country-side to be cluttered. When I woke from this dream/vision… I was convicted in a most positive way – seeing an even deeper meaning of “think before you speak,” “As a man thinketh, so is he. Our Father has very creative ways of getting our full attention and promoting change – where it is most needed.
SILENCE IS THE NEW LANGUAGE [Sunny Orly Coffman] Year 1999 1