There are times when the best thing to do in a situation, is keep silent. The bible gives many examples of those times. The longer I live the more I am learning the wisdom of discernment, and when to say nothing.
In Ecc. Ch. 3, the “Time for everything” discourse, it tells of the time to remain silent.
Ecc 3:7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
In Amos we are told keeping silent in times of great evil is the best decision.
Amo 5:12 They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.
Amo 5:13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.
Here we are given wisdom during times of lawlessness, when people reject sound judgment.
During these times it’s not mere silence of tongue, but the prudent shall keep himself quiet from taking part in any public or private affairs which he can avoid: as it is “an evil time,” and one in which all law is set at naught. Eph_5:16 refers to this. Instead of impatiently agitating against irremediable evils, the godly wise will not cast pearls before swine, who would trample these, and rend the offerers (Mat_7:6), but will patiently wait for God’s time of deliverance in silent submission (Psa_39:9).
It’s important to point out that during Jesus’ ministry on earth; he at times would not answer his critics who dogged him constantly. Sometimes he outright rejected their sadistic questions by giving them another question to counter them. At other times, he ignored them. We as believer’s do not have to feel obliged to answer everyone who tries to bait us, which only leads to useless contentions.
When someone comes to salvation, and is born again, our spirits are redeemed by the blood of Christ; we are new creatures inside. But, our walk is a process, we may falter, we may fail. We get back up, repent of our sins, and keep walking with the Lord. Moses was a murderer, David an adulterer and murderer, Paul persecuted and killed Christians, Peter denied the Lord three times. Even throughout their walks with God, they still had times of failure; but also restoration. We are shown through their lives and stories a walk of faith, but not perfection. Our lives are renewed day by day; as we continue to allow the word of God to change us and mold us into the image of Christ, until we finally see Him face to face.
But the world does not see this aspect of a Christians life, and does not care. For those in the world our mistakes and failures area fuel they use to spread gossip, slander, and condemnation. A lot of “Christians” do this as well. The instruction in Matt. Ch. 18 on dealing with correction, is rarely taken seriously.
Every time we slip in our walk with God, this is the devil’s ammunition against us. But when we fail, God does not throw us away as the world does. God is right there, keeping step with us, and helping us to learn to obey, and the benefits of heeding his word, and taking up our cross and following Christ.
God did not abandon Moses, David, Paul, or Peter. He molded them, taught them, and sent them out again. All of them knew the consequences of their sins, and knew God dealt with them justly. They each kept silent when God judged them, knowing they were reaping the rewards for disobedience. As long as we are living in this world of sin, we will all have these times as well.
Over the years, I’ve been accused of just about everything one could think of. Some of it is true. I’ve given my testimony, and shared my failures. But, there’s been a lot of false tale bearing too. For instance; I challenge anyone, especially in a hundred mile radius of my house, to find anyone who has ever seen me with a man alone, for any reason. You won’t find anyone. Talk to my younger brother, he will be glad to answer this also. There are other stories, but this one is enough. One day in heaven, Lynn will speak up about this; if anyone really wants the truth.
There will always be those who will never like you, will never forgive you, or care what the battles you have faced or are facing right now. You will know and experience the loneliness Jesus experienced down here. We must share his cross, if we are to understand what it really means to follow Him. We see this instruction in Phil. Ch. 2:
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Before Jesus was exalted he had to taste the worst this world could do to him. He overcame; and through His shed blood, and clinging to Him in our struggles; we will overcome also. The empty tomb, and Jesus promise to never leave us or forsake us, is the promises we can count on, till we are finally home with Him.
Satan is called the god of this world Mat_4:8-9; Joh_12:31, Joh_12:40, Joh_14:30, Joh_16:11; 1Co_10:20; Eph_2:2, Eph_6:12; 1Jn_5:19
But there is coming an end to his time here:
Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
I am looking forward to that day, with great anticipation.
In the meantime, we are given these scriptures for our comfort, as it says in Romans:
Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
One more example of when it is best to remain silent, is in suffering as a Christian. This is very difficult. But it is the example Christ gave us when he faced the cross, and the trials before Pilate, chief priests and the raging crowds.
Peter gives instruction about this;
1Pe 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
1Pe 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
1Pe 3:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
The lesson is simple; If you desire to inherit blessing, you must abstain from evil. The conditions are stated by the Psalmist, Psa 34:13-17, from which the next three verses are quoted.
When it is necessary to confront a wrong; keep it simple, direct, honest, and then commit it to God.
I cannot control what people think, or do. But I can control my own spirit, my own mouth, and my own behavior; with the help and power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer can change the situation. There is always hope, that they will look at Jesus, and what he did for them, and will open their hearts and let Him in their lives. If God can save me, he can save anyone. I remind myself of this often.
Silence; at the appropriate times, dispels a great deal of evil. Being a careful listener, and using words discreetly, and with care can become an art of skill. The benefits are well worth it.