by Tim Howard
We live in a society where certain words are acceptable and others are not! The standard is difficult to ascertain because some people say certain things with no ramifications while others can say the same thing and bring about great consternation and wrath. Go figure!
One such word in our household growing up was the word – or should I say two words – ‘Shut Up!’ My parents didn’t like that expression for ‘whatever’ reason so we were creative – We came up with the word: ‘S.H.U.P” – Need I give an explanation as to the meaning?” Be quiet, be silent, hush, stop talking, close your trap or in essence – ‘Shut Up!’
Sometimes loving people is more poignant when you remain silent and do nothing.
When I think about loving people I think of doing something! It’s more than words – it’s actions as well. Love is a verb but there is another side of love that is often overlooked.
This type of love is not focused on what is done but what isn’t done. If truth is told, God’s great love is revealed as powerfully and wonderfully through the silence as well as the spoken.
Quite some time ago I was driving on a three-lane street at approximately 5:30 am. It was still dark and in front of me was a car going the speed limit and another car behind me that happened to be a Police car. We were all in the far right lane when all of a sudden – with no notice – no blinkers and no warning, the automobile in the lead crossed all lanes to make a left turn. There was no real danger since the other lanes were open but it was totally illegal. As I proceeded ahead I noticed the Police car pulling to a stop to watch the other vehicle for several moments.
Evidently the Police officer decided to extend mercy because no ticket was issued and no fines were assessed. Immediately I thought to myself – Those people who made that illegal turn just experienced love, grace and mercy but weren’t even aware of it. The Police officer had the right to give a ticket. He or she had the authority to demand payment for the wrong but chose to be quiet – to remain silent – to do nothing.
Maybe you bite your tongue so you won’t lash out or you remain quiet when you are being criticized. You could force an issue but rather than putting fuel on the fire you choose to let it go and remain silent – just like that Police officer.
Proverbs 26:20 “For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.” NIV
James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, NIV
Ecclesiastes. 3:7 There is “A time to be silent and a time to speak…”
Yes, love is a verb and it is something you do and say. It is also, however, revealed when you are silent.
Psalms 19:1-4 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. NIV
Maybe we all need to do more listening and less talking. Do you need to S.H.U.P?