Ecclesiastes 3:7
a time to be silent and a time to speak

Cállate is Spanish for ‘shut up’.  It’s ok to say it in Spanish, but not in English.  Different countries and languages place emphasis on different words.  For example, in English, we can say the word ‘stupid’ all day long without problems.  In Spanish, however, you are likely to get a knuckle sandwich if you say it.  Words provoke emotion.

love the Message’s version of Ecclesiastes 3:7 ….’there is’… A right time to shut up and another to speak up,

Words should evoke emotion.  The message today is about shutting up.  I didn’t want to put that in the subject line as to not offend the English speakers, but there is always a time when we should just shut up.

I find the older I get the easier it is to shut up.  Probably because I am getting wiser, and humbled every day I live.  It’s not uncommon.  The older and wiser we get, the more we realize that what we have to say just isn’t that important.

Once, when Jesus was teaching, the woman ‘caught’ in adultery was brought before Him.  The pharisees demanded that she should be stoned.  Jesus said ‘who that is without sin can cast the first stone’ and stooped down, and wrote in the dirt.

There are a lot of theories about what He wrote, but that doesn’t matter.  Whatmatters was this…
John 8:9
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.

Proverbs 9:10 says The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.  As time progresses in the Lord, so does wisdom.  For most people anyway.  I think if you want to become wise, you should ask God.  Only He can make you wise.

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

It’s all connected.

With wisdom comes the fear of the Lord, like I said, fear of the Lord and wisdom are interconnected.  With wisdom and respect for God, comes self control.  Many times your more wise self will shut-up where you would have kept talking at a younger age.

Proverbs 10:19
When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.

In other words, many words are sin.  A wise man tries to keep as far away from sin as possible.

The other night I was taking my ‘evening stroll with the Lord in the cool of theevening’.  I noticed that on one path I walk along there is frequently a patch of tree frogs.  The first week, when they are young, their chirping is almost deafening.  I love it, so hypnotizing.  The tree frogs chirping is probably the part of living in the tropics that I love the most.  Once the tree frogs age a little bit though, and see their buddies getting picked off one at a time, they tend to shut up when in imminent danger, such as some giant white guy is walking past them.

I think as we age wisely, we see that a lot of words hurt rather than help.  Even while praying.  They say the word for Christian gossip is a prayer request.  There are some people I hate to pray with because they take so long, or pray at people instead of with people.  I feel that longwinded prayerers, or people that pray publicly with an agenda, don’t take the time to talk to God on their own.  People who talk too much have no consideration for the time of others.  Inconsideration is a sin.

Conversely there is a time to speak up.  Some people are very loud in church or on social media, but are cowards when it comes to speaking to someone one on one about Jesus, or correcting a bully.  I am not big on walking up to people and calling them a sinner. (FYI, neither was Jesus, except to thereligious, He called them sinners because they were bullies and blocked others from getting closer to God.)

I am about speaking out to correct people who are hurtful to others.  Most importantly, I try to convey to everyone I bump into that Jesus saves, and is thekey to their eternal happiness.

Winnie very rarely talks.  Not in Spanish, nor in English.  She keeps her mouth shut.  Except when it’s time to say something.  When she does, everyone listens, because they know she is about to say something worthwhile.

There is a time to shut up, and there is a time to speak out.  In our ministry, we encourage the kids to babble.  They’re kids.  Kids love to talk and talk.  That’s part of the growing up process; It’s our job to pray for
them, with them and to teach them to pray themselves.

We pray that when these beautiful kids reach a ripe old age, that their words are jeweled with wisdom.  That they know when and how to talk, and when it’s time to talk, they speak out of love and people listen.

Dean Peters

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