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When you fast do not die! Part 6 - Fasting is abstinence from excessive and unnecessary talkativity

Rev Enoch Thompson | FEBRUARY 23, 2023 | MATTHEW 6:16-18


"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full."Matthew 6:16 (NIV)


Human beings are social beings, and that involves communication. While human speech is a gift of God, it could easily become a gateway to sin and offence to God. The Book of Proverbs in particular has so much to say about human communication and its relationship to our spirituality. The choice of words, rate of talking, and the motives for what is said are some of the indicators of how effectively or otherwise our talking ability is serving a godly purpose or not.

James advises that we be slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to get angry. We learn that “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." Prov 10:19 (NIV).

Therefore sometimes, in order to draw closer to the Lord in prayer and meditation we need to impose a personal silence upon ourselves. This is the spiritual discipline called solitude. We are quiet not because we have lost our voice or do not know how to talk. We are quiet because we are reflecting on God and interacting with Him, humbling ourselves to show that we do not know everything, and we need to be still to see what God will do in particular matters.

Read and reflect on Job 2:9-13

⁹His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"

¹⁰He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"

In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

¹¹When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. ¹²When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. ¹³Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. NIV.

The discipline of solitude is a prolonged spiritually beneficial practice that will work for the benefit of the seeker of spiritual power, with or without the abstinence from food.


When was the last time you spent a day of quietness, deliberately choosing not to enter non-essential talkativity with its attendant dangers of exaggeration, lies, gossip etc? Will you want to try this exciting experience of fasting your speech, for a specified time? I can assure you that you will like it.


Dear Lord, please help me to use my gift of speech wisely, and to engage it in my walk with you, not only to speak and sing and witness but also in solitude to draw close to you. In Jesus’ holy Name, Amen.



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