How many of us spend our whole days listening to noise. We wake up and immediately turn on the tv, then listen to the radio in the car, and mp3 players when we walk. When I’m at my desk, I have Pandora constantly running. It got to the point where silence was almost unbearable. Try driving in your car for even 15 minutes without the radio. It’s tough. I need the constant stimulation, even if it’s only in the background. Music has always helped me concentrate. With silence, I find that my mind just wanders … often to places that I don’t want it to.
Recently, however, I have been trying to conquer and reclaim silence, and I stumbled across an interesting post on silence and God:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven… a time to be silent and a time to speak…
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7b
The Bible says in Luke 5:16 that “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places.” Jesus spent considerable time alone in silence to pray, rest, and focus on what priorities He should be devoting His time and energy to. This helps to explain why, in just three short years of ministry, Jesus had a greater impact on history than anyone else who has ever lived.
The Bible also describes multiple benefits of purposeful silence, including:
- hearing from God (1 Kings 19:11–13)
- waiting patiently for the Lord to act (Lamentations 3:25–28)
- worshiping God (Habakkuk 2:20)
- knowing God better (Psalm 46:10)
- praying effectively (Luke 5:16)
If we’re undisciplined, silence can indeed be an enemy. With the right focus, however, it can be a tool for reflection, introspection, and recentering of ourselves and our priorities.