Vol. 12 No. 1 January 2010
Rodney Nulph, Associate Editor
An often-used cliché is “silence is golden.” However, as some have suggested, it may be just plain yellow! While it is the case that silence is often golden in some areas of life, in other areas silence is just plain wrong! Sadly, we are facing a time in the Lord’s church when many (far too many) have become silent in spreading God’s message. In spreading the Good News of salvation, we see that Jesus lived it (Luke 19:10), He commanded it (Matthew 28:18-20), the early church practiced it (Acts 5:42; 8:4) and the Scriptures demand it (Romans 1:14-17; 1 Corinthians 9:16-22)! Even with passages so clear, the church of the 21st Century has often become tongue-tied and spiritually speechless in our mission of sharing the Gospel with others! Why? Why have we become so silent regarding our faith and yet so verbal in other areas of life?
First, we are sometimes silent because of OUR FEARS. Have you ever been afraid to start a conversation regarding your faith? Of what are you afraid? Christ has promised to be with us always (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5-6). Fear has never been an acceptable excuse; remember the one talent man (Matthew 25:25-26); where did fear get him? Truly, when it comes to sharing the Gospel, our love should drive our fears far away (1 John 4:18)! Are you silent because of your Fears?
Secondly, we are sometimes silent because of OUR FRIENDS. Perhaps it is the case that we do not want our friends and family to judge us wrongfully, become angry with us or cease to like us. Sometimes, we are afraid to speak with our physical families and friends because they may not agree with us, and that would cause an “awkward” situation. However, Christianity is not always comfortable (Luke 14:25-33). The Lord faced many uncomfortable feelings and situations for us (a secluded garden, a scorning trial, a severe beating and a sacrificial death) to name but a few! Yet, we fail to speak of His great love because we may feel awkward, a little uncomfortable or have someone ignore us? How Sad! Are you silent because of your Friends?
Thirdly, we are sometimes silent because of OUR FOUNDATION.“I just do not know enough” certainly seems to be a popular sentiment in the Lord’s church today for remaining silent in our faith. The only way we can ever hope to fulfill the Lord’s mission in teaching the nations is to daily, diligently prepare ourselves by a thorough study of the Book (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 3:18)! If we fail to prepare properly and teach others, we, like those to whom the Hebrews writer wrote, can and will be sorely condemned (Hebrews 5:12-14). Sharing the Gospel requires adequate preparation (Ezra 7:10)! If we find ourselves lacking in our foundation of knowledge, then we must begin at once to remedy that soul-damning dilemma! What about you, are you silent because of your foundation?
Silence may indeed be golden in some areas of life, but in the arena of faith, silence is condemning! Dear Christian friends, we must open our mouths (Acts 8:35) and teach others the greatest message in the world; we cannot remain silent! “You passed me day by day, and knew I was astray, yet never mentioned Him to me!” the lyrics of one hymn say. Please, carefully consider your silence!