REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Yohan Lee, a friend of AMI, was first posted on September 14, 2014. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA), Yohan served as a staff at several AMI churches in the past.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?” (NIV)
The other day, my wife and I were out to dinner at one of those restaurants that puts a premium on space; in other words, we were about 14 inches away from the table next to us. Although we do not particularly like being that close to random strangers, the seating arrangement did allow us to play a game of “Guess their Relationship”- trying to guess a pair’s status, based on the results of eavesdropping on conversations and observing things like dress and body language. The couple next to us seemed to be trying too hard; and then there was another couple who were clearly out for the first time with their new baby girl. (Mom and dad seemed totally uneasy and unfocused.)
If the couple next to us were to have played “Guess their Relationship” on us, they probably would have thought we were going through marriage difficulties. First of all, I wasn’t wearing my wedding ring (I might have misplaced it); second, we both kept checking our phones (we were waiting for important emails); and third and most incriminating, there were frequent periods of silence (no excuses here).
Our society is uncomfortable with silence. Think about where you would go if you wanted silence: probably a church or a library, but that’s about it. Even the coffee shop, where I am writing this devotional, constantly needs to play background music. The truth is that minimizing words and disciplining the tongue is a virtue that very few of us have cultivated (not even shy introverts), but the Bible does have much to say on the virtue of silence: “…but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God” (James 3:8-9); “When words are many, transgression is not lacking” (Prov. 10:19); and, of course, today’s devotional verse.
Richard Foster’s chapter on solitude (silence’s first cousin) in his classic work, The Celebration of Discipline, makes the point that if we are too busy talking, then we might miss out on hearing God. Hearing God feels like the best reason to keep silent to me. This day, do your best to say only what needs to be said. Then try to take time, five minutes, ten minutes, or even an hour, to sit in silence and listen to God; you know that he doesn’t speak unless he has something important to say.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to measure my words. Teach me to be silent before You, that I might sense what You are speaking to my heart. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 32