Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 14, 2016
If a person sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen or learned about, he will be held responsible. Leviticus 5:1
Responsible people speak up when necessary. Sometimes, it is easier to remain silent, but God has not called us to a path of least resistance. We can stay silent but eventually it will come out. It may come out in angry passive-aggressive reactions related to our uncommunicated observations or it may express itself in built-up resentment or bitterness that eats away at our good nature and steals our joy. Suffering in silence is not God’s design. He wants us to speak up under the influence of His Spirit. Even if the words are hard and direct, God’s Spirit can deliver them in a loving manner.
When you speak up, it means you care. We love the person too much to allow them to hurt themselves and others with self-inflicted attitudes and inappropriate actions. This is especially hard for men. Pride and ego keep us from being vulnerable to rejection or relational controversy, but we owe it to God, to others, and ourselves to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Love compels you to take a relational risk and say something. Be faithful to speak the words, and trust God with the results.
Furthermore, make sure to speak up and defend those who are defenseless. Rise to the defense of widows, orphans, and the poor who are crushed under the weight of the world’s injustice. You may not have to look very far. There may be family members who need your attention. Second, third, and fourth chances are called for to model Christ’s attitude of acceptance. Your reputation may become soiled because you choose to speak up on behalf of a seedy soul, but trust God. We can relate best to sinners because we suffer from the same temptations and sorrows. Christians are sinners saved by the grace of God, and no one is beyond God’s reach.
Lastly, speak up for and serve the poor. The poor need a person they can trust. The poor need us to give them a voice against the greedy souls who seek to take advantage of them. They need financial training; they need medical supplies and education; they need nutrition; they need jobs; they need indoor plumbing; they need shoes on their feet and clothes on their backs. Mostly, they need a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. The poor are drawn to Jesus when they see God’s people stand up for them. They are attracted to those who care enough to sit in their homes and drink coffee, create jobs, and speak up on their behalf. It may be building Christian schools so that the poor can receive a quality education in a loving environment. It is time some of us break out of our bubble of affluence and expose ourselves to the sufferings of the poor.
You sin if you remain silent over those who are defenseless. The Bible says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).
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