By: Brian A. Yeager
The world has long been a place wherein the faithful have felt the need to be cautious in what we say. That’s not the wrong way to be (i.e. II Timothy 2:23). Consider these inspired words: “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred... For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right. Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time… Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (Psalms 39:1-2, Amos 5:12-13, and Colossians 4:5-6).
Consider what the world did to Jesus: “Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk… And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words… And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him” (Matthew 22:15, Mark 12:13, and Luke 11:53-54).
Regardless of whether or not we are around people of the world, we are supposed to control our tongues (Proverbs 4:24, Proverbs 10:19, Proverbs 13:2-3, Proverbs 15:1-4, Proverbs 15:28, Proverbs 17:27-28, Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, Ephesians 4:24-31, Colossians 3:8-9, James 1:19-26, James 3:2-18, and I Peter 3:10-11). We are going to be judged for every word that we speak (Matthew 12:34-37). Thus, we all should be able to understand how important it is for us to be careful in what we say in all settings.
The lessons above are very clear. They can cause us to have a certain level of fear. That is not unwise. When we consider the things we are going to be judged for there should be a level of fear in us (Hebrews 10:26-31). By speaking of being “scared silent” though, I am not talking about the things we’ve covered above. What we are going to study from here forward, not forgetting the things we’ve addressed above, is not being scared of speaking the truth in light of the consequences we might face among men and women of this world.
Not Allowing The Fear Of People To Cause Us To Be Silent Regarding The Truth
We’ve read that we have to be careful about what we say amongst all people. We have read that the world will try to trap us. Yet, there is something else to consider. Let’s consider something Jesus said to His disciples before sending them out to preach. Think about this: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:16-28).
We are not guided today as were the Apostles or first century Christians (I Corinthians 12:1-13:13). Nor are we out teaching publicly what Jesus has taught us privately as did His disciples. However, like them, we [faithful Christians today] are the sheep of Christ (John 10:11-18). As such, this is expected of us: “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain” (Philippians 2:14-16). As the priests of our Lord today, we are expected to show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (I Peter 2:5-9).
How can we shine as lights, holding forth the word of life, and showing the praises of our Lord to those in darkness; if we are afraid to speak and live the word of God? Yes, people will twist what we say. Yes, we will be unfairly judged by the world. Yes, we will make enemies. Yes, we will sometimes be put into uncomfortable confrontations. Aren’t these all things that happened to Jesus, the prophets, the Apostles, etc.? We will have enemies from just simply declaring the truth (Galatians 4:16). However, if we choose to be scared silent, consider how many souls will never hear the truth of the Gospel!
If you want something to fear, fear being scared speechless and thus being held accountable for spiritual murder (Acts 20:26-27; cf. Ezekiel 3:16-27). Therefore, don’t fear cautiously sharing the truth with lost people that are willing to listen (Proverbs 9:7-9 and Proverbs 25:12). Don’t fear explaining the word of God to those who desire such (Nehemiah 8:8 and Acts 8:25-39). Don’t be scared silent when souls are at stake.
Volume 17 – Issue 23 - February 19th, 2017