I Peter 2:15-17 (NLT)
It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.
Silence is golden. I am learning. It took half my life and a whole lot of Jesus but silence is indeed golden. The Bible actually compares the value of wisdom to gold, silver and other precious gems. (Proverbs 3:14-15) Wisdom is a “tree of life” to those who hold on to her. (Proverbs 3:18) People are zealous and enthusiastic about God often extreme and fanatical in nature but it takes some time to know and understand the nature of our relationship with a Father Supreme and Perfect. As we gain understanding of who He is and what He desires, it becomes clear that His Way of making us right looks nothing as we assumed. Suddenly, we discover that maybe just maybe our life was religiously overcome with misdirected zeal rather than proper understanding. (Romans 10:1-3) God’s Will is for me to live an honorable life that should silence “ignorant” people. I am free to live however I choose. I choose to be a Servant of the Living God which means that most often silence is golden.
Facebook and social media is a love-hate relationship. I love how it can put us in touch and keep us connected with others. But it often becomes a catapult for escalated debates that lead to no good. The beauty in such a platform for most is that you do not ever have to face those with whom you engage so one is stripped of fear and given a false sense of courage to say what might not otherwise be said. We all have opinions. What matters is the truth. Over the summer, I requested an alternative reading assignment from my daughter’s high school. There was only one book assigned. The book was not appropriate for our child. We did not demand its removal or ask for it to be banned. Simply asked the principal to assign an alternative for those who chose not to allow our children to read R-rated profanity. The principal sent those concerned parents an alternative assignment. I was satisfied. Apparently, when the rest of the world caught wind of it – they were not. It became a media circus calling it censorship. I made the mistake of reading another news article and the comments that followed. Infuriated seems too weak a term for the anger I felt rising up with me. The world cannot even see its own hypocrisy. Pro-choice only applies if it meets one’s own agenda. I choose to serve God, but that is not a viable option. No surprise, Jesus said it would be like that. Liberals who support unrestricted development of all human endeavors believing the government should support individual rights and civil liberties backhandedly think it is right to “force” my family to live and engage in something which is offensive. I believe that everyone has the God-given freedom to live as they believe. It is Biblical. I don’t have to agree with you. Changing the world is not my job but living and loving others with the Love of God extended to me through the Cross is my lifelong endeavor. As I read the comments berating the Body of Believers and their parenting skills, I got really mad. Anger rose up in me. I began to wonder. Where is the church? The Bible is the only book censored at school, why isn’t anyone fighting back? I closed Facebook and dove into the Word of God.
Psalm 4:4-5 (NLT)
Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the Lord.
Anger must never control how we respond to the world and its many attacks against God’s People. We are to be controlled and motivated at all times by love. “Think about it overnight and remain silent” proved to be sage advice. I believe that this ties in to the next verse and to “offer sacrifices in the right spirit.” Anger is an emotion. Emotional reactions are a sign that someone or something other than God has control. I believe in God. I serve God. It is a personal choice based on the knowledge and understanding that I have derived from the Word of God. I have a relationship with God that is not defined by people. It has taken time to develop along with a whole lot of faith and trust. It doesn’t matter to me what anyone else thinks because He is MY God. I do not need to defend my personal belief because it belongs to me and I am justified having it by Jesus Christ. Our relationship to the Lord is personal when it doesn’t matter if anyone else believes and you still do. This is ownership. To uphold my covenant to love others, I must sacrifice my emotions sometimes to get the job done.
Isaiah 30:15 (NLT)
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.
In quietness and confidence is your strength…but you would have none of it. Confidence in God does not need a debate. Those who wait quietly for the Lord do not lash out in anger but live in love. My flesh is always ready with a sarcastic retort when someone brushes up on my pride. It is a flawed characteristic that has taken a great deal to overcome. Faith and confident hope has loosened my hold on public opinion and softened my response when offense tries to rear its ugly head. As believers, we must learn to live in quietness and confidence with our God. Great revival is coming but it will not change the world. The enemy will continue to use others to goad us into reacting in anger and frustration rather than responding in love and mercy for all people. Don’t let him lure you away like that.
Isaiah 32:17-18 (NLT)
And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in safety, quietly at home. They will be at rest.
When Peter confessed that he believe Jesus was the Messiah, Son of the Living God, it was in that moment of personal revelation that he was made right with God. Nothing he did from that point on was more important than his personal decision to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. Jesus told Peter that he was the rock (foundation) that the church would be built on. Peter was not perfect and went on to make many mistakes just like every other person does. But he was made right with God and stepped into righteousness in that moment. Righteousness brings us peace. It quiets the warring need to be right accepting the position of righteousness we are granted by God through Jesus Christ. Such a position, should bring “quietness and confidence forever” to us. We don’t have to fight for it. It belongs to us. We don’t have to debate faith just merely possess it. Our confidence in God quiets every argument and ends every debate now all that is left to do is rest in His Presence and share His Love with the world.
Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses?
Jesus did not debate who He was. He did not argue for His Life when the High Priest interrogated Him. Jesus was silent and made no reply until the man asked a life changing question. “Are you the Messiah…?” Jesus answered, “I Am!” When the world wants to argue our choices in how we live to serve God, it really is not up for debate. We live our life according to the Word of God or at least try to. There is no need for discussion as Jesus is our example. The only time it is prudent to respond is when they ask who He is and want to know Him. But notice what happened when Jesus confirmed His Identity to the High Priest, the man became so infuriated that he tore his clothing. Not everyone is going to embrace our commitment to Christ – so be it. If we need other people to accept and believe like us to make our choice to follow Him credible – it is time to look within to examine our heart and evaluate our faith.
The angel of the Lord came to Zechariah with wonderful news. Zechariah was a priest serving God in His Temple. The Lord had blessed him with a child in his old age. He did not believe so the Angel of the Lord made him silent until the birth of John the Baptist because he lacked faith. (Luke 1) We must learn to live by faith in all things and keep our mouth shut until we respond the same way. Our words must affirm the work God is doing in our life. We are told to “to ‘do’ what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God!” (Micah 6:8) This is not up for debate and does not allow us to argue about our faith.
Proverbs 17:27-28 (NLT)
A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.
Jesus warned us that we must give an account for every idle word that we speak. (Matthew 12:36) Bearing this in mind, every conversation we have right or wrong should be covered in grace, mercy and love. My need to argue with all the people who I feel are personally attacking me is not a godly response but a human reaction. To keep my heart and mind right, I must immediately take insults and offenses to the Throne of God and give them straight to Jesus. If I begin to tell others exactly how I feel, I am in danger of spreading words that hinder God’s Work in my life rather than making a way for it. A quiet spirit can overcome many mistakes. (Ecclesiastes 10:4) Proverbs tells us that it is foolish to vent anger. (Proverbs 29:11) It also is clear that belittling others is foolish. (Proverbs 11:12)
Psalm 115:16-18 (NLT)
The heavens belong to the Lord, but he has given the earth to all humanity. The dead cannot sing praises to the Lord, for they have gone into the silence of the grave. But we can praise the Lord both now and forever! Praise the Lord!
What am I supposed to do in a world that hates Christians? How do I live in an environment that embraces every other person’s rights but that of the Believer? I have one life. Contrary to popular opinion, you may only live once but after that there is Eternity. My words should attach me to forever and never be limited to today. Anger is misplaced zeal. Wisdom and understanding allow us to rise above man’s opinion and take hold of righteousness found only in the Lord. God has turned my mourning into dancing and sorrow into joy now that is something to talk about. He wants me to sing His Praises and not be silent. (Psalm 30:11-12) I should use social media as a platform to shout the Goodness of God and when I am tempted to do anything else close it down and find refuge in Him. My life is designed to give Glory to God. He is Good! He is Faithful! He is True. His Love is Unconditional. It is Constant and Unending. If no one else believes it, I do! Let confidence in the Lord be the quiet strength of your soul today. Let Jesus be our example who chose not to respond until they asked the right question. Do not be detoured and sidetracked by meaningless debates and stupid arguments. Just because some people do not believe in God doesn’t change His Character and Person. He is the Great I Am! It is with this confident hope that we know when silence is truly golden!
Psalm 62:1 (NLT) I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.