Serial Reading of Young People’s Problems Chapter 13 – On Keeping QUIET

Chapter 13 – On Keeping QUIET

“There is a time to keep silence — and a time to speak” Ecclesiastes 3:7

“Talking is good — if it is wholesome talking. Very wonderful is the gift of speech, and the power of good words to do good is simply incalculable. But not all talking is good; there are words that are firebrands or daggers! We are responsible, too, for using our tongue. An old proverb tells us that, while speech is silver — silence is golden. Of course the saying says too much. There are times when silence is not golden, is in fact only base alloy, and when duty can be done only by speaking. We have no right to keep our gentle thoughts and feelings in our heart unexpressed — when loved ones are starving for words of affection.”

Thus, JR Miller opens another chapter for our prayerful consideration and instruction. I don’t know about you, but to me it appears that we are currently living in a very noisy world! The amount of rancorous discourse seems almost deafening. There is a verse of Scripture that is most precious and yet quite elusive in our current culture: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Is. 30:15) Pastor Miller has some valuable words regarding this matter: “It is a good thing to know when to speak — and when not to speak. Some people [simply] talk altogether too much.”

In summary, “We may learn much from our Master’s example about the duty of silence. …There were thirty silent years at the beginning, out of which only one single sentence is preserved to us. The silence of those years is wonderfully impressive.” Miller also gives insightful pause to consider the fact and possible reasons why “there were times, too, when Jesus was silent in the presence of human need and distress.”

He also explains that “we get from our Master also the lesson of silence under injury or wrong. That is what meekness is — not answering back, not contending for one’s rights, not striving against injustice, not resisting insult — but quietly submitting and enduring.” We must all admit with Pastor Miller,

“I hastily opened my lips and uttered a word of disdain that wounded a friend and forever estranged a heart I would die to regain!”

Miller warns that “One of the sad things about ill-timed words is that they cannot be recalled. Flowers fade — but there will be more blossoms. Snow melts — but it will snow again. You may weep over the unkind thing you said which so stung your friend’s heart, and your friend may never speak of it to you, nor show in any way that he even remembers it — but the word itself never can be recalled.”

Miller closes his comments with this: “The Bible has much to say about keeping quiet — but how may we learn the lesson? Tongue-mastery is not easy.” But in Christ, all things are possible if we remain teachable. “If we would only wait for [Christ] to speak in our words — we would often be silent where now we chatter endlessly.”

Again, the full text is worthy of prayerful consideration. Share it with your children as you face problems that are but opportunities for learning, especially for controlling the tongue towards heaven-blessed usefulness.

Find the full text on Grace Gems at:

Chapter 14 – Learning to Be Thoughtful

(to be continued)