Sometimes saying nothing is the best option

There are times when I want to write concerning a specific matter, or feel that I should write an article for the people that want to hear from me. I have learned during my short stay on Earth that there are times when it is best to keep my mouth closed.

Silence is the best option in certain cases. There are two specific examples in the Bible I want to focus on, in order to portray this message.

Someone may ask you a question and a simple example I can give is not knowing the answer. You would not need to respond wrong information but would need to relay that you do not know what is required. If a grown man was approached by a young adolescent, who felt the need to continually provoke him with threats and abuse, it would not be expected for the man to retaliate with similar actions, it would be expected that the man responded in a manner of maturity: with intentions of diffusing the matter, not encouraging the behaviour. I recently was in a supermarket shopping and upon exiting, I was made aware of an altercation between two people and an employee in the store. Various times he was provoked and remained calm. Myself and others tried to usher the boys away who were intoxicated by alcohol and perhaps other substances. All of a sudden the employee became angry and started acting aggressively (he actually hit one of them). The point is that firstly he let the company down and secondly himself. My friend recently was in a similar altercation and did not act like this first example. Jobs are not just given to people who cannot control themselves, you have to remember that the companies are being represented. Whether or not this man started this altercation he should not have acted this way.

The first biblical example I will highlight is from the book of John (8:1-6), when Jesus was approached by some prideful Pharisees and Scribes. “Moses commanded stoning for this act of adultery but what sayest thou?” Jesus did something which I learned from, we see what he did by the repetitious questioning…He ignored them!

Used for concept only

Jesus later went on to dismiss the claims by giving them a lesson they really needed. Jesus here knew he was right, but was not quick to answer these men, he took time out and waited. This teaches the readers that even though right, it may not be the right thing to do immediately when in confrontation. For a period of time he chose to not respond (for reasons I have my own beliefs to). I believe the skill has to be learned, of being able to say no to self and keeping the mouth closed.

The second example I want to highlight is from the Old Testament, in the book of 2 Samuel 18.  

A man named Ahimaaz was so eager to run to the King of the day David, when told no, he eagerly insisted. He insisted even though another person had been sent out as messenger already. He was that eager that he beat the man sent out first, just to deliver a message. The intriguing thing here is, by him continually pressing Joab for the opportunity to run was the first mistake he made. He did not need to do any such thing. It was even noted that he was a bringer of good tidings. Secondly, when given the chance he pleaded for arose, he lied to his leader and said he didn’t know what had happened. This again was another reason why silence or limiting his speech was vital. Joab had stated to him, why do you want to run to King David if you have no message. If he heeded these words from Joab and actually took time to think, he might have realised that my silence is the best thing in this circumstance.

Israel

He’s learning to serve the Christian community better and better each day through his teaching on the Bible (both theory and practical application for everyday life). Israel Ikhinmwin loves to share the truth of God’s word and be an example for other Christians looking to develop your faith.

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  1. While checking for possible sites to visit, I saw your blog post title. I had to smile; as it sounded similar to what I wrote –Silence is Golden. I think you did a better job by adding the two biblical examples.

    It is true that the best response is sometimes to say “nothing”.

  2. E G Lewis says:

    You make a good point. No one was better at dealing with critics than Jesus.
    There is an art to dealing with upset or irrate people. Years ago I had an instance where one of my customers grew very upset with circumstances that neither of us could control. (I worked in a merchandising office and spent my day on the phone buying and selling.) I let the woman rant and threaten then quietly explained the facts. She ranted some more and I expalined again. After about a half-hour we reached a resolution. When I hung up the phone, a coworker commented that he ‘d have just told her ##**%&#. The thing he missed is that doing so might have felt good at the moment, but it wouldn’t have resolved the underlying problem. As it was, I retained her respect and continued doing business with her company.

  3. Mike says:

    I have always found the story about Ahimaaz an odd one, but you got me wondering. Was he wanting to share the victory of David’s army, but forgot that he would be asked about Absolom? Or did he think he could get the credit for delivering good news, by feigning ignorance? Joab seems to have made it clear that he was not the proper messenger for carrying bad news. Ahimaaz was the messenger that warned David to flee or be captured by Absalom, so maybe he felt he was supposed to be the official messenger. He must have felt like a fool when the second messenger gave his report.

  4. Tracy Krauss says:

    It is certainly a good lesson in THINKING before speaking …

  5. Jack Brown says:

    🙂

  6. I love silence. Love the quiet. Less words. Less noise. Just peace. And I’m learning that less words really are golden. Less words teach me to listen more, deeper, intently. A number of years ago I was struck by the Proverb: “Where words are many, sin is not absent.” I’ve learned to say less, speak slower, to listen first and longer, allowing the other person time and space to speak fully, and I’ve unexpectedly grown in compassion. For what I’ve learned is that words tend to be all about me. Listening is all about the other — even in prayer. Love that! Thanks for a thought-provoking post, Israel!

  7. MGalloway says:

    Good post…Unfortunately, I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away from a situation instead of adding fuel to the fire.

  8. Wow- you were sure prolific on November 27! I’ll comment on the first post, too.

    This is very powerful. God is certainly working on me presently to keep my mouth shut when what I have to say does nothing to lift others up. Your post was one more way God is proving the point. Thank you.

  9. Reminds of the saying: Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver. 🙂

    Some of us need the duct tape.

    Thanks for sharing.

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