To Speak or Not To Speak....

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are just not sure whether to speak or not to speak? That is the question! 
When I used to commute to NYC on the train, sometimes for no particular reason I found myself aware of a particular person in the crowd. I wasn't sure if God wanted me to speak with that person. I'd get all clammy and nervous just thinking about it. 

Other times, in the middle of a conversation, I'd wonder if the time was right to share, if the person was open, if I could or should speak up. 

So I memorized two Scripture verses to lead me when this situation arises:
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Col. 4:6
- and -
Even a fool when he keeps silent is considered wise. Prov. 17:28 
(like another well-known quote: "Better to be silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." lol)

If I sense someone in the crowd, or find myself engaged in conversation unsure what to say, I pray an instant little prayer asking God to reveal His will. One of the two scripture verses will come to mind, and I respond with a second prayer accordingly.

This works well two ways. I know what to do and I have confidence about it. 
  • If it is the Colossians verse, I ask the Lord for the gracefilled words to share. And I'm able to speak with the confidence that comes from knowing that I'm in His will. 
  • If the Proverbs verse appears in my mind, I send up a prayer FOR that person but keep my thoughts to myself with the confidence that it's A-OK to keep silent at this time. 

Recently read on facebook: 
Knowing when to be silent is as important as knowing what to say.
These two Scriptures verses hidden in my heart help me know when to be silent or what to say. 

Have you been in this situation? I hope this tip helps you! If so, let me know ;D


quietspirit said...

Just today, hubby and I were eating out. The lady sitting at the next table said something to me complimentary about my husband. (He wears a baseball cap with the image of the naval vessel he served on.) Hubby came back to the table and we bowed our heads for grace. When we got through the lady asked me if I was a good Christian. I didn't know how to answer. My reply was a simple "Thank you." She then asked me to pray for her grandaughter. Most of the time we were trying to eat our meal,she talked about her grandaughter's need and her famiy and her other grandchildren. All I could do was listen.

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Your silent witness was so powerful! May He use you with words or without.

Jennifer Dougan said...


What a great fleece idea, and then always striving to be spirit-led each time. Good verses to memorize, thank you.

I was delighted to read your comment on my post on fighting human trafficking about your friends who are involved overseas, and your family's Christmas involvement too. Yes, isn't the Made By Survivors a fun tangible way to help? Thank you for joining me in this too.

Did you get a chance to read the earlier posts too? "Calls in the Dark" and "Cookies, Milkshakes and Hero Truck Drivers." All are welcome... It gets me so excited to have tangible easy ways to fight human trafficking!

Have a great week.

Jennifer Dougan

Jennifer Dougan said...

Susan, you thrill me with your passion and involvement and getting your kids involved too! Thank you. What a gift.

Eager to get to know you more too,
Jennifer Dougan

Denise said...

Oh, Susan, this is are anointed and God truly speaks through you!

The subject of your blog is exactly one of several main issues I have been wrestling with--making that tossing around--in my head and waiting for an answer from the Father on--at this point in my journey. Through you, He has sent His Word directly to me via email this morning

Since 7:25 this morning when I opened your Eternity Cafe email, I have been praising God for sending my good friend, Susan, through whom He has spoken to me so many times already! Gee....I can also hardly wait to see what He has you write "to me" in your next blog !!! :)

Maude Carolan Pych said...

Good morning, Susan. Yes,I agree, sometimes silence is best. In an excerpt from my poem, "Women Weep" it says:

"...pressed a hand
spoke a prayer
attempted wisdom
or the wiser
wisdom of silence..."

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

What an amazing gift you have with words. Thank you for sharing.

Jane said...

Dear Susan,
This is a very interesting reflection. thanks.

Marja Meijers said...

Susan, thanks for this post. I recognize this! I used to have my foot in my mouth, all the time. But since the Holy Spirit lives in me he is helping me to speak when it is needed and helpful and to be quiet when needed and helpful!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, yes, very helpful. I could have saved myself a ton of trouble if I'd learned to pray before I spoke. Thank you!