"Act on this word. If all you do is listen to it, you are deceiving yourselves." —James 1:22
The writer of the book of James commands us to be "slow to speak" (Jas 1:19) and to bridle our tongues (Jas 1:26). Between these two references to speech, the writer commands us to be doers of the word (Jas 1:22, RNAB). The writer may be implying that if we speak too much, we will do too little in living God's word. A "big mouth" often does little work. Those who talk too much don't walk too much. Hot air may not power anything but a balloon.
Many Christians aren't producing. They are not leading people to Christ and not building the kingdom of God. Many Christians today are talking more than any Christians have ever talked in history. We are the least silent of all people in history. We have cellular phones, talk shows, and chat rooms. We talk and talk and talk. Sometimes we think that just talking about something is a substitute for doing it. Maybe our excessive talk has something to do with our stumbling walk. So "let us love in deed and in truth and not merely talk about it" (1 Jn 3:18).
Let us begin to reclaim silence as an essential part of our lives in Christ. Be silent at a set time for at least five minutes a day or five minutes more a day. During Lent, increase this time. At Easter, may you erupt with power and do God's word as never before.
Prayer: Father, make me a quiet man or woman of action.
Promise: "His sight was restored and he could see everything clearly." —Mk 8:25
Praise: Angela prays to know when to speak (Jn 12:49) and when to be silent (Eccl 3:7).
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Hearing God or on audio AV 45-1 or video V-45.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003