The value of silence

As with all disciplines, we should approach the practice of silence in a prayerful, experimental attitude, confident that we shall be led into its right use for us. It is a powerful and essential discipline. Only silence will allow us life-transforming concentration upon God. It allows us to hear the gentle God whose only Son “shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice above the street noise” (Matt. 12:19). It is this God who tells us that “in quietness and trust is your strength”(Isaiah 30:15, NAS).

But we must also practice the silence of not speaking. James, in his Epistle, tells us that those who seem religious but are unable to bridle their tongues are self-deceived and have a religion that amounts to little (James 1:26). He states that those who do no harm by what they say are perfect and able to direct their whole bodies to do what is right (James 3:2).

From The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives. Copyright © 1988 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

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