I caught the head cold that has made itself at home here in the Eastman house for the past two weeks and went to bed with a sore throat. After a sleepless night of coughing and discomfort, I woke up to find that my mouth could not express what my mind wanted to say.
As the day wore on, I was able to accomplish voicing about three words out of ten, but by evening - nothing but a whisper.
Spending an entire day in (almost) silence made me wonder what Scripture has to say about the subject. Turns out - it says quite a bit and is almost always connected to self-control. This is not an exhaustive list, just the verses that impacted me most.
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. Proverbs 17:28
Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent. Proverbs 11:12
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:19
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man quietly holds it back. Proverbs 29:11
Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Proverbs 13:3
When words are many, sin is not absent, but whoever restrains his lips is wise. Proverbs 10:19
I think the most interesting thing about these verses is how the Lord strings silence to wisdom.
If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and wisdom is found when we speak less and listen more, then this verse needs to be my daily prayer.
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalm 141:3