I love a good discussion.
I am always up for a deep talk about some kind of challenging topic, and I’m ready to jump in at any time to share my opinion or add my thoughts to the conversation.
Usually too ready.
Lately I feel as though God is calling me to be quiet.
To learn how to listen, instead of always waiting for my turn to say something.
This is hard for me. I like talking. I will gladly do my part to ease the awkward silences.
And I guess I just like being heard.
One evening when Ben and I were talking about this, he shared his strategy with me. He said that whenever he’s in a group of people where everyone is talking or waiting for their turn to be able to say something, he sits back and thinks to himself:
I’m okay with my opinion being the one that’s not heard.
This has stuck with me. If you’re ever in a group discussion with me, chances are you’ll know what’s going through my head: “It’s okay. I don’t need to be heard. My opinion is still worth something, even if no one knows it but me.”
I think it’s human nature to like being heard. We feel valued when others hear what we have to say, and agree with us, or just understand us.
But what God has been reminding me of lately is that I am already heard. He always hears me.
I’ve been stuck on Psalm 116 for a month now. I keep going over and over these words of truth:
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.
When I came across those verses a month ago, they hit so deep and rang so true, I had to stop and take note, because it was clear to me that I had a deep, aching longing to be heard.
The reminder that God is listening is helping me to learn how to stay quiet.
He values my thoughts and opinions.
He gives me everything I need to sit back, find my true value in Him, listen hard to others, and be the reminder to them that they are loved, as I am loved, because we are heard.
3 thoughts on “Learning How to Keep My Mouth Shut”
Now, this comment is not meant to sound like flattery, but I really felt like i needed to add some encouragement to your calling. This is something I always feel very specifically when I’m with you. You are very good at listening until someone is done their thought. There’s no jumping in trying to finish a sentence or even to say, “I totally know what you mean.” This is something I have felt very inspired about after a conversation with you. So, this calling you feel from God is one that I think He’s already started in you a long time ago. You’re doing this well. I think often we are just waiting until the person talking stops so we can get our very important views out there. But, I agree that it’s a challenge to just listen. And, what a lovely reminder that God always hears us and that’s enough. Thank you for sharing the work of God in your heart. It’s so often exactly what I need to hear.
Thanks so much for your kind, encouraging words. I am so glad that you have felt listened to when you’ve been with me. It’s how I want people to feel, but sometimes forget this in my enthusiasm to speak my mind! But how true that God’s callings grow over time. He softens our hearts, and plants things down deep, so that by the time we notice them, they’ve often been growing for awhile!
Thank you Kendra for these helpful thoughts. I have exactly the same enjoyment of discussion and a need to voice my opinion! I have also had the same feeling about God calling me to be quiet. I just randomly googled ‘learning to keep one’s mouth shut’ and your blog came up first. I am a Christian too and your wise advice will help me in my struggle not to keep speaking up. I shall try ‘ I’m okay with my opinion being the one that’s not heard’ and I will think about Pslm 116 too.