I’m pretty certain each and every one of us has gotten into an altercation. I’m not talking about a physical fist to cuffs type of altercation but a verbal one. Even from early childhood verbal altercations have somehow found a way to taint our lives. Cruel harsh and cutting words are spoken with the intent of causing pain, and our natural tendency is to respond in turn. Yet is this the best response? Could it be possible that no response is the best response?
Having been the victim of harsh words, for years I thought I had the correct solution. If you come out of pocket and say the “wrong” thing to me, I immediately think “who do you think you’re talking too followed by an outpour of hasty often loud words that express that exact sentiment. Oh boy! I shamefully must admit that is wrong. God in His mercy has shown me the error in this type of response. He told me to shut-up. Well He didn’t say it like that but He did show me the beauty of silence.
Biting your tongue when someone is verbally attacking you is not easy but it is necessary. Below are some of the reasons why silence is truly the best way to respond to harsh, unkind, or cutting words.
- You Won’t Say Something You’ll Regret Later.
When we respond to hasty words we generally respond in the same manner and with the same tone as the words that were spoken to us. We really don’t take time to think and before you know it words fly out of our mouths without any consideration of their impact. When the truth is, these words likely wouldn’t have been spoken had we taken a few moments to think.
- You Won’t Play Into The Enemy’s Plan of Discord.
The enemy loves harsh and hasty words. He understands that they are infectious and can easily cause two or more people to engage in spiritually dangerous territory. His desire is for pain, hurt, and discord to be the lasting results of these types of encounters which is why he works so hard to lure us into these traps. Resist him! Don’t let him get any satisfaction.
- Silence Can Be The Greatest Rebuke
Silence is golden. Often time’s individuals who come at you with fiery words are looking for a response out of you. It’s what feeds them and subconsciously or consciously brings them pleasure. In the moment their tainted spirit desires that you too get riled up and out of control. Therefore, when you respond with silence it literally quenches the fire that is burning. You’re effectively saying this dysfunctional exchange of words ends with me.
- You’ll Gain More Self Control
Self control is one thing we all should be striving towards. And it is definitely an exercise of self control to keep silent when others are talking to you any old kind of way. Yet this builds character and speaks to your integrity as a person.
- You Will Be More Like Jesus.
Isn’t this the ultimate goal, to be like Him? Jesus was no push over yet he was meek and mild. When Jesus was being accused of foolishness by the chief priest and elders He answered nothing. These men hated him and had terrible intentions towards Him, yet despite His innocence He chose to answer nothing. In other words He gave them the silent treatment. See Matthew 27:11-14.
As you can see there are so many benefits that come from keeping silent. Knowing when to speak and when not to speak is a critical factor in living the extraordinary life. So from now on, when you find yourself being tempted to respond to another’s out of control talk, determine in your heart to simply hush, mums the word. Don’t allow folks to ruffle your feathers, just be cool calm and collected like Jesus was.
“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Proverbs 16:32.
Homework: Experience is only good when we learn lessons from our experiences. Think of sometimes in your past in which you didn’t hold your tongue. How did that experience turn out? Would it have been better if you had paused and said nothing? What could you have done instead? Now determine how you would like to respond in the future. Be sure to document your thoughts in your journal.
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