The Discipline of Solitude

The disciplined person is the person who can do what needs to be done when it needs to be done… most of us can get the ball into the hoop eventually, but we can’t do it when it is needed. Likewise, a person who is under the Discipline of silence is a person who can say what needs to be said when it needs to be said… if we speak when we should be silent, we miss the mark.

Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline

I chose to focus on speech when it comes to the Discipline of silence because that is an area of particular struggle for me. I find myself talking when I know I should be silent, and often get myself into a situation I could have easily avoided by simply remaining quiet. Keeping out of trouble is just one benefit of remaining silent. Another benefit is simply being disciplined. A disciplined person in one area often becomes disciplined in other areas of life more easily, especially if a person is disciplined in speech.

What a marvelous companion is one who listens and shows genuine interest in other people’s lives. Solitude requires me to hear before being heard and an attitude of gratefulness for every opportunity to be silent before God and others.

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