If you’re anything like me, you have little time or opportunity to experience true silence. Life is busy and loud. The world around us is busy and loud. There’s barely any time to slow down and rest in the quiet. We feel that we always have to loudly proclaim our successes to “keep up” with the rest of our peers, but what about the power of silence?
Silence is Cleansing
I believe there is power in silence and it is something that I have to remind myself of constantly since I’m definitely not one to shy away from striking up a conversation with the person sitting next to me. Silence is intimidating and makes most people, including me at times, uncomfortable, however, silence can empower and nourish you. True silence allows you to reflect. Silence allows you to explore the realm of your imagination. Silence allows you to listen to your mind, body, and spirit. It can also cleanse and relax. One of my favorite feelings is going home to my apartment, walking in, and just sitting on the couch without the distraction of my screens.
I also believe that God speaks to us through silent moments. I’ve heard God’s voice the loudest as I sat with him in silence. I had to distance myself from the noise of my life and problems to gain clarity from Him. It’s easy to miss God in the noise of the world or in the chaos of your problems. That’s why silence is a necessity in your quiet time. It seems obvious that you have to have silence during quiet time with God, but silence doesn’t mean the absence of noise. Target what your “noise” is and make sure the volume is turned all the way down. Personally, my “noise” is any of my screens, so I always make sure my phone, computer, and Apple Watch are in a different room.
“The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” 1 Kings 19:11-12
Silence in Communication
On the practical side of things, silence can be a great tool to use when learning how to communicate effectively with people. It can be used in our personal and professional lives.
Imagine you’re having a tough conversation with a friend, family member, or even a coworker. You both are firing comments at each other without taking a moment to digest what the other is saying. This causes both people to stop actively listening. Once you stop listening, you start only spitting out your pre-conceived opinions. This is where the power of silence comes in. Rewind and imagine that after your friend has just started this tough conversation. What if you remained silent before responding? That silence is your time to digest what is being said to you and fully understand where the other person is coming from. Taking a beat of silence before responding gives you a chance to cool down and reconsider the harsh comment you initially wanted to say back.
“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.” Proverbs 17:27