The Silence that Kills

Silence is not always golden. Sometimes it is deadly.

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The following are some occasions when silence does its damage:

  • You work for a small company. You have been a loyal, dependable employee for the last ten years. You have had a variety of jobs in this company. No matter what you have been asked to do, you always try to do your work well. Yet, you feel taken for granted by your boss. You can’t remember the last time she expressed appreciation or thanked you for something you did.
  • You are a stay-at-home mom. You hardly stop from the time the children get up in the morning until you go to bed at night. Yet, your husband doesn’t even seem to notice. You can’t remember the last time that he complimented you for a meal or the appearance of the house.
  • You are a teacher. You don’t teach in the public school system for the money. You would have never entered this profession if that were the case. You work many, many hours so that you can provide quality education for your students. Yet, you feel taken for granted by some parents. Even though you work very long hours, your rarely hear a thank you from either students or parents.
  • You have been married for fifteen years. You love your spouse. Yet, sometimes you feel as if she takes you for granted. She complains regularly about your finances. She continues to fuss at you for not taking the other job that was offered to you six months ago. You are exhausted at the end of a work week and do not feel appreciated.
  • You are a teenager. You are very insecure about your appearance. You told your dad that you bought a new dress and that you wanted to try it on for him. You put on the dress and then walked into the living room where he was sitting in his regular chair, watching ESPN. You waited for him to say something. He hardly moved his eyes from the television. All you wanted was his approval about your appearance and yet he remained silent. Now you feel silly for ever trying the dress on in the first place.   
  • You are a minister. Many times, you don’t feel appreciated or affirmed in your work. You were at a meeting not long ago where several people made back – handed, insulting remarks about your ministry. Yet, no one rose to your defense. They all remained silent. The negative remarks hurt. Yet, perhaps what hurt even more, was the silence of your friends.

I want the wisdom to know when it is best to be silent and when it is unthinkable to remain silent.


Questions:

Can you relate to this. Have there been times when the silence of others has been discouraging and even painful?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “The Silence that Kills

  1. I was never particularly close to my father. We did not have an adversarial relationship, just a casual one. Not like a father and son should have. I waited years to hear him say anything positive about my decision to go into ministry full time. He finally told me he was proud of me … less than two years before he died. (If you remember, you were in Rockledge to speak at our church the weekend he died and we had to leave.)

    The first year I was at Long Beach, there was a Monday night meeting of some very disgruntled members. We look back on it as the “meeting from hell.” The elders allowed the ministry staff, and me in particular, to be all but crucified by those angry people, many of whom were former members who came back just to take their shots at me! We worked through it and I remained in good relationship with those elders (and love them dearly), but I would have appreciated a word from any one of them in support of our staff. That word came from our worship minister … and basically no one else, though many there were very supportive of us. They just chose to remain silent in the context of those circumstances.

  2. @Greg England
    Greg–Many of us can identify with the story your words regarding your father. (Yes, I do remember that weekend.)

    I also think that many of us can identify with your story regarding the Long Beach meeting. Been there. It is very painful to have no one speak up on your behalf. This has also heightened my appreciation for those individuals who did break the silence and speak up. I’ve learned to never take these people for granted.