Daily Riches: Chasing the Wind … With Words (Richard Foster, Ruth Haley Barton and Thomas Merton)

“We are so accustomed to relying on words to manage and control others. If we are silent, who will take control? God will take control, but we will never let him take control until we trust him. Silence is intimately related to trust. The tongue is our most powerful weapon of manipulation. A frantic stream of words flows from us because we are in a constant process of adjusting our public image. We fear so deeply what we think other people see in us that we talk in order to straighten out their understanding. …One of the fruits of silence is the freedom to let God be our justifier. We don’t need to straighten others out. …God can care for us–’reputation and all.’” Richard Foster

“…much that happens in solitude and silence ends up being ‘for others’—as paradoxical as that may seem. Our speech patterns are refined by the discipline of silence, because growing self-awareness enables us to choose more truly the words we say. Rather than speech that issues from subconscious needs to impress, to put others in their place, to compete, to control and manipulate, to repay hurt with hurt, we now notice our inner dynamics and choose to speak from a different place, a place of love, trust and true wisdom that God is cultivating within us. Over time we become safer for other seeking souls, because we are able to be with them and the issues they are dealing with without being hooked by our own anxieties and fears. We are comfortable with our humanity, because we have experienced God’s love and compassion in that place, and so it becomes very natural for us to extend love and compassion to others in their humanity.” Ruth Haley Barton

“Better is a handful of quietness
than two hands full of toil
and striving after the wind.
Ecclesiastes 4:6

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • What is more natural for you, “a handful of quietness” or “two hands full of toil?” Why would quietness be “better?”
  • Have you ever chosen silence, allowing God alone to be your “justifier?”
  • Are you increasingly safe for others because you have “experienced God’s love and compassion in that place” of silent solitude?

“Lord, it is nearly midnight and I am waiting for You in the darkness and the great silence.” Thomas Merton

For More: Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton
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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

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