Thursday, 22 March 2012

Silence is golden

Here's another quote from the Lent book by Drake which I am reading in the build up to Easter. It is written in the context of Jesus' encounter with the high priest at the beginning of his 'trial' in John 18.

The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in the synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret." John 18.19-20.
The most eloquent voice that reaches us to day out of the hall of Caiaphas is the Silence of Jesus. He was silent about His disciplesHe would not expose publicly their broken loyalty, their frailty and ingratitude, in the moment of their great weakness. He would be silent about them when He could not praise. How different is our silence. We are silent when praise is due, eloquent when fault is found. How careless we are of the reputation of others, even out friends! How we need to throw the vail of silence over those things which do not redound to their credit. Criticism offered by us in the spirit of gentleness, may become on the lips of others both untrue and unkind. How sternly we need to school ourselves to kind and generous silence.
And Drake goes on to note that it is not just that we (perhaps sub-consciously) want to lessen others, but that at base we wish to big ourselves up,
We are moved by the secret stirrings of pride, and self regard to show the intimacy of our knowledge, the subtlety of our insight, or the superiority of our conduct. Thus self poisons the speech. Beware of being drawn into the discussion of others. It is seldom free from grave and subtle spiritual sins. Save the criticism for the ears of Jesus. 
And so thoroughly chastised by this powerful and winsome teaching I repent and hope to save more of my opinions 'for the ears of Jesus'.

 
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