Keeping Silence

In Mark 9:1-10, Peter is at his impulsive best again. When Jesus is transfigured in indescribably splendid light next to Elijah and Moses, James and John stand amazed, but Peter had to speak. “‘Rabbi, let us make three tents for you.’ For he did not know what to say.” Then why did he say anything? God’s unmistakeable voice from heaven quieted him.“This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” I imagine they could have heard a pin drop. Jesus knew Peter well—“as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”

Rays of cloud and light near sunset, blue and white

We do not know if Peter heeded that admonition, but we do know he was gradually transformed from an impulsive, albeit well-meaning, fire-cracker into a passionate, effective leader in the early church. He later wrote, “Be self-controlled and sober-minded. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God. Be examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 4:7,10-11; 5:3)

What do I miss because I speak instead of listen? What triggers my tongue into thoughtless action? In what situations do I need an extra measure of that beautiful fruit of self control?

“Oh, that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom!” “When words are many, transgression is not lacking; but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” “Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” (Job 13:5; Proverbs 10:19; James 1:19)

Lord, hold my tongue, and attune my ears to listen to You.

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