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Lesson #11 - Silence

Series: Taming The Tongue

Lesson #11 – Silence

1. Can silence be GOLDEN?

  Must we always feel the need to say something?

~ Have you ever asked yourself, “Do I talk too much?”

- Do you sometimes suffer from “hoof-in-mouth” disease?

- Is there a message in human anatomy - - we have two ears but only one tongue?

A tourist spending the night in a small Vermont town joined a group of men sitting on the porch of the general store.

After several unsuccessful efforts to start conversation, he finally asked, “Is there a law against talking in this town?”

“No law against it,” drawled one Vermonter,

“but there’s an understanding that no one’s to speak unless he’s positive he can improve on the silence.”

  Does silence make you nervous?

~ Do you find the sound of silence to be uncomfortable?

~ Discuss the exhortations to BE STILL (Ps.46:10) and BE SILENT (Zech.2:13) in the presence of the Lord.

~ Ps.39:1b / I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle…

2. Discuss the concept of “constructive silence”.

  Do you find it difficult to restrain your tongue?

- Prov.10:19 / When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.

  What does it mean to be “swift to hear, but slow to speak”? – cf. Js.1:19

~ On a scale of one to ten, how good of a listener are you?

~ Prov.15:28 / The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

~ Prov.18:2 / A fool does not delight in understanding, but on in revealing his own mind.

  Read from Prov.17:27-28

  Edward Hersey Richards’ poem.

A wise old owl lived in an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke;

The less he spoke the more he heard:  Why can’t we all be like that bird? 

3. Are you silently stingy with your words of praise?

  Prov.3:27 / do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is your power to do it.

  Rom.13:7 / render to all what is due them…honor to whom honor

4. Can silence be YELLOW?

  Eccl.3:1 & 7aThere is an appointed time for everything…a time to be silent, and a time to speak

~ Discuss the idea of “guilty silence”.

- Is it wrong not to proclaim the glorious gospel of Christ? – cf. Rom.1:16Isa.6:9a  and  Mk.16:15

  Can Christians rightly look the other way in the face of evil?

~ The prophet Amos referenced evil days in which it was deemed prudent to be silent. – cf. Amos 5:13

- i.e., some falsely justified their silence, concluding that it was too risky to speak up and speak out against evil.

~ Is it sinful to proclaim “peace, peace, (when) there is no peace”? – cf. Jer.6:13 & 8:11

“It is high time we broke with our theologically based restraint towards the state’s actions - - which after all, is only fear.

Speak out for those who cannot speak.  Who in the church today realizes that this is the very least that the Bible requires of us.”

(Words written by Deitrich Bonhoeffer during the days of Hitler’s rule leading up to WWII).

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