13th February 2014

 Silence is Golden,
But Sometimes it’s Yellow

“Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.”
Job 6:14 (NIV) 

The source of the statement ‘Silence is golden but sometimes it’s yellow’ is unknown.  It does however pose a valid question: when should we be silent and when should we speak?  There are many examples in God’s word of well-intentioned friends who get it right and equally of those who get it wrong.  Job complained about his friends and their endless chatter “I have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you! Will your long-winded speeches never end?” (Job 16:2-3).  Poor Job was crying out to his friends for kindness and all he received was criticism. Job knew that a true friend should give comfort—see the heading scripture. King David had similar feelings expressed in Psalm 41:9, “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.” Despite this, King David understood the value of a true friend “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)

From Job and King David we learn to be kind and loving when confronted by the suffering of others, rather than to repeat clichés or to patronise. Henri Nouwen, a Dutch-born Catholic priest and writer who authored 39 books about spirituality, said, “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing…that is a friend who cares.” Though highly commendable, these qualities of character come naturally to few.

It takes wisdom to know when to speak and when to remain silent and to listen. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” (James 3:17) They are borne of a love that is divine—a love from God. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” (John 15:9) By remaining in the love of Jesus we will source the gold of silence and the sensitivity of when to offer comforting words.

Loving Father, grant us by the power of the Holy Spirit, the gift of perception and sensitivity toward others – to know when to listen and when to give words of encouragement, to console and by doing so demonstrate the love of Jesus.

Study by Irene Wilson


irenewilsonAbout the Author:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone:  01923-855570
Email: george-sue.henderson@tesco.net

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