It is ironic, but it’s certainly true–silence often speaks louder than words. Being intrigued by this subject, I did some research on it, and I’d like to tell you about an interesting article I found.
It was written by a guy named SeeKen. While I couldn’t find out much about him, he had some neat things to say. Therefore, I will blend my thoughts with his, and hopefully raise your level of awareness.
The article begins with some reasons why people might not want to take part in a conversation. Here are some reasons I thought were most common. But in order to make them actually come alive in a practical way for us, I wanted to share them in the form of a story. To do this, however, I’ll need your help.
Therefore, please partisipate by imagining that there is someone new on the job, and you are in a supervisory capacity. He is a hard worker, and you see a lot of potential in him. But he is having trouble.
You decide to take him under your wing, and you invite him out to lunch. But when you do, he says, “Thanks, but I prefer keeping to myself.”
Not using the listening skills you have been trained in, you just barrel ahead, seeing him as an asset. Continuing to push on, you urge, “Oh, come on–just try it! We’ll have a lot of fun!”
Finally, shrinking back with a sigh, the new employee has had enough. “Leave me alone, and let me do my job,” he says, in exasperation.
Now let’s look at another scenario through the eyes of imagination, which happens a few weeks later. You’re talking to someone from work again, but he hasn’t been promoted to a supervisory position this time.
There is a lull in the conversation, and the topic finally turns to your treatment of the new coworker.
“You should have given that new guy a chance to prove himself,” he shouts, “but you alienated him!
Then he throws in a sarcastic barb. “With you’re vast experience, You’d think you could learn to keep your big mouth shut! But no–you were rude, and you pushed him away! I heard he might quit. You could have pulled some strings, but it’s too late now.”
As your face flames with shame, you cut in and give him a curt reply, and he stalks out angrily. The upshot of this little talk is that you go back to the job alone.
You’re soon called on the carpet by the big boss. He has heard through the grapevine about how you treated the new guy. The boss asks you if it’s true, and you stall for time, wondering what to say. But now that the shoe is on the other foot, silence doesn’t seem like such a bad option after all.
In any case, it’s clear that silence is its own language. We are all sending a message through silence, and we’re also receiving messages which we are left to interpret. Hence, we must try to understand the signals of the person we are speaking with.
To me, silence is like learning a foreign language. It takes both practice and hard work.
I’ll give you an example. I am learning Spanish, and as you might guess, the learning process is all about repetition. Many times, many different words can express a similar thought. This can be confusing, to put it lightly. In the same way, silence in the midst of conversation can mean many different things, so if you feel frustrated, you’re not alone.
Now I’ll turn our attention to our friends in other parts of the world, and find out how they handle this mysterious medium. Some cultures view silence as a sign of respect. However, I can totally understand if this concept seems foreign to you, as it did to me. When I remembered the old maxim, “Children should be seen and not heard,” it began to make sense.
In certain countries, while having a conversation, it is polite to pause for a second or two. In this way, deference and respect are shown to the speaker.
We live in such a rude age. Instead of having a respectful attitude, people are constantly texting or on their cell phones, and mindless chatter seems to be the rule of the day.
Here’s another way you can view this subject. Imagine standing before a dignitary, like a king or a president. Or, let’s say you’ve taken a trip to England, and you catch a glimpse of the queen at Buckingham Palace. As you see her in all her pomp and splendor, your mouth hangs open, and you are filled with awe.
But now that you are on your flight home, I dare you to do an experiment with me, and really think about how silence has spoken to you in your daily life. Here is how it spoke to me.
I was annoyed with someone dear to me the other day concerning what I thought was an important issue. However, when they listened to me respectfully, without being angry or defensive, it took the wind out of my sails. We came to an amicable solution, but I’ll admit it was difficult to scrape the egg off my face.
Now let’s all look at our relationship with God, as we view it through life’s microscope. Yes, self-examination was uncomfortable for me, but I found it to be productive.
Ask yourself the first of these three questions: “When I aproach God, do I remember that I am aproaching a King?”
That question caused me to do some soul-searching, and I had to admit my honest answer was no. So I decided to make it a matter of prayer, jot down ways in which I could correct this disrespect of God, and move on.
I decided to Google what the Bible had to say about God as King. I would like to share one verse with you here.
“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.” (Psalm 45:6, KJV)
In light of this verse, I realize that I sometimes get so busy that I approach Him as anything but a King, offering microwave prayers to Him, and then rushing out of His presence.
Then I asked myself the last two questions. Upon remembering His Kingship, was it in this reverential attitude of silence? Or did I always have my hand out, treating Him like a divine Santa Claus? Do you have the same inclination?
Finally, please read Psalm 46:10 with me prayerfully.
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (KJV)
Come to God today in silence, kneel before Him with praise, and you will finish with a song in your heart.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
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