There Is Great Peace In Silence
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14: 27
There is the peace of God and there is, of course, the counterfeit peace of the world. Have you ever tried getting silent for a period of time? If you have, you will notice a great peace that will come over you. What’s the world’s way of having peace? Talking incessantly on a cell phone where everyone can notice you or buying an expensive sport utility vehicle and driving around so that – you guessed it – everyone can see you? Or more reasonably, you can go for a walk on a nature trail like I do almost every day. But without God first, the peace you may feel out in the world is always temporary. The peace of God that God gives as a result of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us has every implication that it can be permanent. Take a look at the Scripture above.
Jesus Christ said: "Let not your heart (the innermost part of your being) be troubled, neither let it be afraid." How can we do this? By knowing and applying the Word of God. You need to study long and hard. This is the love of God and it is not oppressive. It’s what we should be doing – it is God’s blueprint for living.
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. – I John 5: 3
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear [respect] God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. – Ecclesiastes 12: 13
Many years ago, I had a man of God teach me something that stayed with me all of my life and that is the title of this teaching. I was rather excited about getting to know God’s Word and had a tendency to talk a lot. He was trying to concentrate on something and looked at me with a smile on his face and said: "Ralph, there is great peace in silence." The implications of such a profound statement are beyond our understanding. His statement stayed with me all of my life.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. – Colossians 3: 15
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. – Ephesians 5: 4
For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words. – Ecclesiastes 5: 3
Notice some of the verses and phrases mentioned in the above three verses. In Colossians the phrase "peace of God". In Ephesians "nor foolish talking". And in Ecclesiastes "a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words." Can you not see that God is trying to tell us something and why is He trying to do so? Because there is a part of the human anatomy that we cannot control. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Out of it comes salt water and fresh water. We have to do our best to control this part of our human body and speak only when necessary. Then we will experience great peace in silence.
Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. – James 3: 4
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! – James 3: 5
Read James 3: 6 and 7
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. – James 3: 8
Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. – James 3: 9
Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. – James 3: 10
Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? – James 3: 11
Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. – James 3: 12
I think when Carly Simon wrote the song "Nobody Does It Better", she was speaking of God Almighty. Let’s study what God is saying in these verses beginning in verse four.
This is, of course, a figure of speech referring to how the tongue usually directs a person’s complete life and yet is such a small part of the human body just like the helm is of a large ship. What we confess makes a major impact on our life. Our life is also the sum total of all of our decisions. People only get to know us by what we say. So the tongue plays a major part in our lives. Verse five is basically saying the same thing but not in a figurative manner. Verses 6 and 7 lists some of the qualities of the tongue which are: ‘a world of iniquity’, ‘sets on fire the course of nature’, does NOT include the tongue when listing what can be tamed by mankind.
Verse eight lists more characteristics of the tongue and says no man can tame it. It is an unruly evil and is full of deadly poison. Verse nine says that with it we bless God and curse men showing again in verse 10 that it blesses and curses and verses 11 and 12 illustrate how a fountain can’t really send forth sweet water and bitter water.
Now when you study all the attributes of the human tongue, you have to agree that it is best to use it as least as possible. That is the closest you will ever come to "controlling" it because we know from verse eight it cannot be tamed. Try to keep silent and speak only when necessary. You will find out that there is great peace in silence.
Let me be fair with you regarding the actual application of this teaching. This is not an easy principle to apply especially if you are a talkative person, but you can try your best. You will see results. Let’s go back to the Word and see why silence can prevent us from appearing like a fool.
But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yay be yay; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. – James 5: 12
It is with the mouth that we swear and make oaths and God forbids this because He knows that we will fall into condemnation. It is good not to say: "I swear I will do this" or "I swear I will never do this". Why? Because we simply cannot trust our own word. A circumstance may change and we will then change our mind and then we appear to make fools out of ourselves. It happens time and time again. You may swear you will never smoke another cigarette again and then two weeks later, you buy a pack of cigarettes. If, in applying this same situation and someone asks you: "Are you going to smoke again"? Just say "No". At least it is the truth at the time you are saying it.
When someone asks you a question that requires only a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer "let your yay be yay; and your nay, nay". GOD SAYS ANSWER YES OR NO and that is it. It’s that simple. You don’t need to explain your answer to anyone and yet we have a tendency to do that most of the time. The Word of God uses the word ‘condemnation’ and the Lexicon defines it as trying to conceal something or as a false pretence or an act. When we explain our answers to people, it is as if we are trying to conceal something or make excuses for our actions. This is completely unnecessary. Try answering "Yes" or "No". If you can acquire this habit, you will be making an attempt to control the tongue AND you will experience great peace in silence.
Remember, even though these things appear simple to apply, they are actually difficult to master. This is because we are so used to rambling on about nothing most of the time. With the advent of cell phones, the adversary, the devil, won a great battle. You would be better off if you took your cell phone, placed it firmly in your vice, and methodically crushed it into small pieces. You will most likely NEVER experience great peace in silence carrying around a cell phone. Cell phones are for people who absolutely need them such as certain business people – NOT the general public. The cell phone companies are laughing hysterically to the bank. Try thinking about it for a few moments. When you have a relationship with God, you don’t need to attract attention by wasting your time, money, and useless words flashing your cell phone. It is a device of Satan. You don’t like the teaching. Stop reading it. I am trying to help you and someone has to have the courage to speak up and tell it like it is. This is not a religious site. It is the Word of God and nothing but the Word.
Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. – Proverbs 8: 33
I see myself as a just man in many ways because I study and teach God’s Word as a priority in my life. However, before I was more rooted and grounded in the Word of God and the application of the Word, I made mistakes.
My neighborhood is full of the following people and I don’t know how else to say it, but to say it. One woman is a backbiter, another talks incessantly and the list goes on. How do I know this? By fellowshipping with them. One man is an obvious alcoholic, another an animal abuser and worse. At one time I used to speak to these people even though God was trying to tell me "Let your yay be yay and your nay, be nay." In other words, I should have been spiritually sharp and have been able to see that fellowshipping with these people would have been fellowshipping with darkness. There is a way to live at some type of peace with these people. It is to say Yes or No and then to politely excuse yourself and move on. But no, I fellowshipped with most of these people. Here are two Scriptures about this subject:
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. – Ephesians 5: 11
Now I reprove them with my silence and avoidance, but at first I fellowshipped with them, not knowing what I was in for.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? – II Corinthians 6: 14
Light doesn’t mix with darkness. In fact, it makes it manifest. You simply cannot be close or friends with unbelievers. You have nothing in common. Now let me finally get to the point as to why I brought up this example.
An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbor: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered. – Proverbs 11: 9
Due to a lack, not of the knowledge of the Word, but a lack of my willingness to apply it, I became a hypocrite. Even though I knew there was trouble ahead, I still tried to fellowship with what I was clearly beginning to see was darkness and unbelievers. It took me about five years to get away from these people to the point where I am not quite noticeable anymore. THIS WAS VERY DIFFICULT. Through a greater knowledge and APPLICATION of God’s Word, I was delivered as the last part of the above verse clearly states. But before this, destruction reigned in the neighborhood in ways that I care not even to mention.
IF ONLY, I initially let my Yes be Yes and my No, No and was careful spiritually, all of this could have been avoided. And I could have always been experiencing, much sooner, the great spiritual principle that:
There is Great Peace In Silence.