Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3528

Jump Start # 3528

Ecclesiastes 3:7-8 “A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; a time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace. “

  Our verses today come from that wonderful section of Ecclesiastes that we often call the seasons of life. Sixteen times, Solomon tells us that there is a time. We often question that, with the reply, “there just isn’t enough time.” The day ends, and we haven’t finished all that we wanted to get done. For some of us we realize that there are more books that we want to read than we will probably will have time for in our lives.

  In these pairings, opposites, negatives and positives, we want to look at just a couple of them from our passage today. There is a time to be silent and a time to speak. There is a time for war and a time for peace. The difficulty in those expressions is knowing the right time. When is it the time to be quiet? When should you speak? Sometimes we are talking when we ought to be silent and we are silent when we should have said something. Not realizing the “time,” often makes things messy. We find ourselves having to apologize because we spoke when we should have been quiet. Or, we made war when we should have been striving for peace. The key in all of this is, “there is a time.” Boy, if we could only know the time, we’d be a lot better off.

  Now, here are some things to remember:

  First, some only want to talk. And, when there is nothing more to be said, they are done. They don’t do well in silence. I’ve seen this often when I go out to lunch. Men are guilty of this as well as women. Young adults as well as old ones. Talk. Talk. Talk. Some even talk while they are chewing and that’s not a pretty picture. There are moments when I want to stand on top of the table and shout, “everyone breathe for a moment.”

  In the moments of silence, you listen. In the moments of silence, you reflect, think and gather thoughts. In the moments of silence, you observe. We like our noise. The music is always playing. The TV is always on. Someone is always talking.

  What we understand about silence is that, I do not know everything. I don’t have an opinion on everything. And, even when I do have an opinion, I do not have to express it. I do not have to participate in every disagreement that I am invited to. Sometimes, I am going to sit on the sidelines and not get involved. I think we could even move this into social media. I may not post a like on everything I like. I may not voice my disapproval on everything that bothers me. There are times when you will not know where I am on things because I am silent. The silent factor is hard for some people.

  The smart guy Solomon knew something that we may have forgotten about. You need to ask, “Am I ever silent?” There is a time for that.

  Second, someone always dies in a war. This is true in physical wars, as well as, emotional, verbal and even spiritual wars. Wars kill. So before I gather the troops and declare war, I must understand that someone will likely be killed. It may be a good name. It may be a reputation. It may be me. There are times to draw lines in the sand and defend the Gospel of Christ. Not to do that is being a coward. We can’t allow fear to dictate our response. However, there are some wars that probably should never have been fought. History shows that. Church history shows that. Many innocent people are caught up in the battles and many die spiritually because of the ways the war was conducted.

  There are things that we need to fight for. Satan wants your family, your congregation and your soul. We cannot let him have his way through those.

  Third, it seems the essence of knowing the time must be tied in to the people we are connecting with. There may be a time for the war to end and the banner of peace be waved. It may be time to stop talking and be silent. This isn’t a formula like in math class. It will change from person to person and from situation to situation. There are times you need to be talking. There are times for the lines to be drawn and war declared. As our faith and love grows, we will understand. The experiences in life will help us to learn these things. We look back and think, “I should have been more quiet than I was.” You learn. You do better the next time.

  But remember, Solomon isn’t all war and all talk. Neither is he all silence and all peace. There is a time for all of them, just not at the same time.