A time to talk and a time to be silent.

Found yet another half finished post…….sorry for the delay.

For the last two days (25th October) I’ve been on a coaching course, learning how to coach others. And today I find myself in a Ministry Area leaders meeting, getting to know those in our new team and praying together. And over these three days, I heard the comment over and over ‘You don’t talk very much’ or ‘Sally, we haven’t heard much from you’.

This has led me to think about how I work in teams and larger groups. I am a strong introvert (every test we did in college told me that), and I don’t find it easy to talk over stronger personalities, publicly, even when I think they are wrong.

Often it takes me longer to think through things, and to gather words together. I like to have everything planned out before I speak, I’m not good at ‘out loud thinking’.

I admit that I am the same in prayer. I struggle at meetings when the time of prayer where every piece of silence is filled with someone’s pertitions. There needs to be a time to listen, and response. Pray should not be a one way act, and this is the way it feels like at times.

I also believe in that saying ‘We have two ears, two eyes and only one mouth, and we should use them in that proportion’.

Throughout the scriptures we are told that it is the foolish who talk most. And when we talk to God, we should use few words. These two scripture readings have popped up recently

“Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words. When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.” Ecclesiastes 5:2-7

““And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:5, 6

Re-reading all this, of course there is a time and a place for all things. And there are times when I need to step beyond what is comfortable. But it’s something worth thinking about.


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Minor Canon Youth Chaplain at St Albans Cathedral. Dog owner, historian, technology geek, pilgrim.

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