a time to speak and a time to be silent

There has been several occasions this week when I could have said some things. Actually in my head I had a lot to say, but I also know that there is a time to speak and a time to be silent. As a follower of Jesus in this day and age we really need to discern when to be silent and when to speak, and to understand that for different people that means different things. Sometimes we will be called upon to stand and speak up, and on other occasions we will be restrained to remain silent and to turn the other cheek. (Matthew 5:38)

For there is a time to speak up, and there is a time to remain silent, always keeping in mind that we can do damage to God’s kingdom and Jesus’ reputation by speaking out when we in fact we needed to be silent, or vice versa. Wisdom knows the difference, and it is wisdom that we need, and fortunately what God says we can ask Him for.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” (James 1:5-7)

If we never learn when to speak and when to keep silent, when things happen that make us angry, and quite simply “push our buttons (whether that is in our personal relationships or in a public setting), we will speak out when perhaps it would have been wiser to keep our mouths shut and our comments quiet on social media. We can make fools of ourselves, and play right into the devil’s hands to cause hate and disunity whilst adding fuel to his plans. We have to know what and where to speak up and how to comment, know who the real enemy is, how to fight, and how to act accordingly.

I know of only one place that gives us the much needed wisdom and guidelines to negotiate through the minefield of political correctness, easily offended, “out to humiliate and bring people down who don’t agree with their point of view” world we live in at present.

This wisdom and the guidelines for how to live are found in God’s Word and in daily communion with Him. When we mediate and think upon what He says, and we seek to  know His heart regarding the issues before us, God promises He will guide and lead us in the way to go. He will tell us when to speak and even give us the words to say, and He will also caution us on when to remain silent and to simply let our light shine. (Matthew 5:16)

Jesus encourages us that, “the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers, and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” (Luke 12:11-12)

I’ve discovered that when I really, really want to vent and let people know what I think, I’m better to wait, to pray, to go for a run, to get my vacuum cleaner out and let all my angst out on some dirty floors, to pray some more, to go to God’s Word for wisdom and only then speak up or to comment on social media etc if Holy Spirit says I can, and only how He says I can. When something or someone is being ugly and/or attacking us and what we hold precious often the wisest thing we can do is “go in the opposite spirit.” Determine to, “Live such good lives among those who don’t know God that though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (1 Peter 2:12)

God’s Word says, “For everything there is a season…a time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak.” Let’s be people who know what time it is. (Ecclesiastes 3:1;7)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you give me direction for my daily life and teach me how to live. Please give me wisdom to know when to speak up and when to remain silent so that my life will reflect your goodness, love and way of truth. In Jesus name Amen.