This the fourth post in a series by Pastor Mark where he helpfully lays out the importance of silence and solitude, as well as how he approaches and utilizes the time.
Silence and Solitude Stealers
Despite the Bible’s exhortation and Jesus’ example to enjoy times of silence and solitude, few Christians regularly enjoy these gifts from God. This is because there are some real enemies at work that need to be combated for silence and solitude to be enjoyed. The following are some of the more common silence and solitude stealers that have to be dealt with as an act of repentance:
Those people – pushy, needy, demanding, high-drama, inconsiderate people steal your life, joy, health, and time—often in the name of ministry, when it’s really people-pleasing idolatry that allows them to get away with it.
Technology – you cannot be a maturing Christian following the example of Jesus Christ if you are always surfing the Internet, dinking around on your cell phone, reading emails, texting, tweeting, rocking out, and watching TV. You have to turn them off to tune in to God. Yes, I have all of the latest technology, and I turn it off so my soul can recharge. Do you really think Jesus would have been checking his buddy’s friend request in the Garden of Gethsemane if he had an iPhone?
Lack of planning – in Leading On Empty, Wayne Cordeiro shows that in Genesis 1 when the Bible describes days, it says there was first evening then morning. So, biblically, the day begins at night with rest, Sabbath, and silence. That then prepares us for work and conversation. This is like Jesus, who spent time alone before beginning his public ministry.
Trading busyness for fruitfulness – some people say they are too busy to worship, pray, Sabbath, journal, and so forth, but they have tragically traded being busy for being godly, obedient, and wise fruitful stewards. Is your busyness truly fruitful or would some plans to organize your world, home, diet, budget, schedule, and life be helpful?
Lack of appreciation – the Bible has a great deal to say about the benefits of purposeful silence, including:
- hearing from God (1 Kings 19:11–13)
- waiting patiently for the Lord to act (Lam. 3:25–28)
- worshiping God (Hab. 2:20)
- knowing God better (Ps. 46:10)
- praying effectively (Luke 5:16)
My prayer is that those reading this who are guilty of people and noise addiction would experience the regular gifts of silence and solitude because that is often where God is waiting for us. There was silence before God spoke the world into existence, and silence for forty days before Jesus began his public ministry. May you too enjoy silence and solitude before you attempt to live your life with, for, like, and to God.