Daily Encouragement: Day 299

Adapted from Handbook to Spiritual Growth


“Where shall the world be found, where will the word resound? Not here, there is not enough silence.” When T. S. Eliot wrote these words, he succinctly captured the essence of our zeitgeist, the spirit of our time and culture. The contemporary epidemic of drivenness to crowds, words, music, entertainment, and noise is inimical to the life of the spirit and points to an inner emptiness. Only a minority of us even know what total silence is like, especially since the advent of smartphones.

“In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). The transformational discipline of silence encourages us to grow “in quietness and trust” by being still and hushed before God so that we can listen with our spirit to Him and enjoy His presence. Silence in the presence of others can be practiced by deliberately speaking less than we otherwise would in certain situations. James encourages us to turn this practice into a lifestyle: “everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger” (James 1:19).

A verbal fast can be useful for illuminating our social strategies and devices, and our need for greater self-control with the tongue.

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