Ecclesiastes chapter three tells us that there is a time to speak and a time to keep silence. Although I am far from having perfected this lesson; much of what I’ve learned over the past year is how to keep silence. Many of the Proverbs tell us that only fools enter into foolish debates or make corrections where they need not be given. When Job lost everything his friends came to him and sat silently with him (then they started to speak and the trouble started). Jesus Himself kept silence before Pilate and with a few exceptions He went silently to the cross.
As Christians we know that we possess a great truth. We have Jesus, and His word and His Spirit. We know the Truth. Sometimes we feel the need to defend that truth. But here’s the thing…God doesn’t need us to defend Him. He’s a big boy and He can handle Himself. What I’ve come to realize when my emotions kick in and I feel defensive against the cultural battles we face – it’s not God I feel the need to defend, or His Word – but myself. And those are the times I need to keep my silence. I’m not saying we lay down as door mats or we deny what the word says. But what I am saying is that when we find ourselves engaging in arguments with people, trying to put in our two cents about what’s right or wrong we often times end up looking look Solomon’s fool. God doesn’t need us to defend Him, He needs us to represent Him – and that means love and grace and truth but with gentleness. And the best way to represent Him is to live as He would. Sometimes that means keeping our silence.
And here’s the other thing – we don’t have to defend ourselves. Jesus is our Advocate, He is the one who makes our case and brings about justice in our lives. If we’re feeling defensive we either need to remember to put our faith in God or take a step back to see what we may be doing wrong. It can be really hard to know when to speak or when to be silent. But there is good news…since we do have the Truth living inside of us we can ask Him! If we should speak He can gives us the words, if we should keep silence He give us the grace to do that too!
Have a post you want to share? Send it to WNYLifeTogether@gmail.com and make sure to check out our events tab at the top of the page!