This article is part of a series looking at the Oxymoronic names of God and how understanding them helps us live as Christians in a fallen world. Please click here to read the introductory article and to find links to other articles in the series.
I write these posts because I love God and want my readers to see Him in fresh ways. I’m constantly surprised by how God continues to defy my expectations and breaks out of any box I might put Him in. I want to share these thoughts with my readers; I appreciate you reading these posts. However, this post is for me. I’m trying to work out if I should be silent or not. If I should write about a particular topic or whether it’s not for me. Of course, I’m sharing my thinking here as I hope you’ll benefit too, and perhaps you’ll share some of your wisdom with me.
This post is part of a series looking at oxymorons. Oxymorons are pairs of words that seem to contradict each other, i.e. old news, but are frequently used together as a single term.
Should Christians be silent?
Speaking up on issues is something that Christians seem to stumble over. Sometimes we’re too quiet on topics, such as the war in Yemen, and other times we are too loud. We bombard society with our beliefs while failing to listen to the hurting world around us—gay marriage and abortion spring to mind.
How can we get the balance right? I want the world to know we Christians care, but I don’t want to be part of a collective voice that goes on and on so that eventually, society longs for us to shut up.
What advice does the Bible give us?
Well, it’s wise to know when to be silent. Only fools go on and on (Prov 10:19-22, 11:13 and 12:33). Being quiet benefits us and those around us (Prov 13:3 and James 3). Generally, when instruction is given to God-followers collectively, we are advised to be humble and let our actions do the talking (Micah 6:8 and 1 Thes 4:11-12).
But shouldn’t we speak up for those who have no voice?
Yes, but generally, God gives these types of instructions to specific people at specific times. The famous verse from Proverbs 31 quoted above (that has meant a lot to me as I know it has to many) was spoken by a mother to her son. Her son was a ruler and King.
Can we generalise those words to apply to all Christians all the time? Probably not if we use them as an excuse for internet rants. Yet, we’re told all scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching (2 Tim 3:16). If the Holy Spirit at a specific time and for a particular reason quickens our heart by bringing that verse to us, we should humbly and prayerfully accept it as a calling to raise our voice. My quandary is whether God is calling me to apply that verse now.
So what should Christians talk about?
We should stick to what we know (Acts 4:20), and if you know God, that qualifies you to proclaim the good news of the gospel (1 Cor 11:26 and 1 John 1:3).
Speak in love; otherwise, you’ll become an irritation, and your words will lose all meaning (1 Cor 13:1). I am confident we can do this with God’s help and the Holy Spirit. Please pray for me as I seek God’s leading; thank you.
To return to the Oxymoronic God series of articles, please click here.
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