I said, ‘I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.’ So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased; my heart grew hot within me. Psalm 39:1-3 (NIV)
When you did these things and I kept silent, you thought I was exactly like you. Psalm 50:21 (NIV)
Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all who live in this world, both low and high, rich and poor alike: My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding. Psalm 49:1-3 (NIV)
Have you ever been in company where the conversation descended to a low ebb and afterwards you wished you had spoken out? Have you seen someone being treated unfairly and yet you kept silent? Having missed the opportunity, it is often easier to keep silent and live with the guilt.
The psalmist in Psalm 39 (quoted above) faced a similar situation and decided not to speak out. While it is commendable that he did not enter into the conversation, he didn’t have the courage to say anything good. Did this solve his problem? No, it seems to have made things worse. He goes on to say ‘… my anguish increased; my heart grew hot within me’. The psalmist knew what he should say and his conscience troubled him because he missed the opportunity to speak out.
The problem with keeping quiet is that those around us will presume we agree with them. Look again at the verse above from Psalm 50:
When you did these things and I kept silent, you thought I was exactly like you. Psalm 50:21
Of course speaking out takes courage and tact. Some people are quick to speak the truth, but do it harshly. As Christians we need to have the courage to speak out, but to do so gently.
Ask God to give you insight and understanding, so that you can be courageous and tactful in speaking out.
If we won’t speak out, who will?
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