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the silence of justification

When we know that we are accepted by God through the glorious work of Christ, and that we are thereby righteous in him, we have a marvelous freedom from the opinions and judgments of others.  

In Richard Foster's The Celebration of Discipline, in the chapter on "Solitude", the author notes the connection between our silence and our trust in God as the One who justifies us:

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.  If I have done some wrong thing (or even some right thing that I think you may misunderstand) and discover that you know about it, I will be very tempted to help you understand my action!  (p. 101)

I would add that we also do this when we have done something right and we are afraid that others may not be aware of our goodness!  

Foster goes on... 

Silence is one of the deepest Disciplines of the Spirit simply because it puts the stopper on all self-justification.  One of the fruits of silence is the freedom to let God be our justifier.  We don't need to straighten others out. 

I would add that the reverse of that statement is true, as well: one of the fruits of having God be our Justifier is the freedom to be silent, thereby being liberated from the need to give any self-justification. 

I have found this to be true, and with that I will now be silent...

Comments

Hubcap said…
Difficult words to live by.

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