Should I share or shouldn’t I? That is the question these days! It’s vital to know when to speak and when to remain silent before family, friends, or followers on social media. Listen as Leslie shares how to know when to speak up to encouragingly share truth, when to lovingly confront, and when it is best to refrain and simply trust Jesus in the secret place. Rediscover the beauty of guarding your intimacy with Jesus Christ in this week’s episode!
Ecclesiastes 3:7 says there is a, “time to keep silence, and a time to speak…” This verse reminds us of the important fact that we can know how to steward our words for the glory of God. While either extreme — never speaking or chattering incessantly — is God’s pattern, we do want to be mindful of the principle we mentioned in last week’s episode about returning to the secret place and keeping certain things private between ourselves and the Lord
Two Practical Principles for When to Speak and When to Keep Silent
- Principles Concerning the Offenses, Hurts, and Sins of Others
“His Father caused him to understand that when the wrong done was personal, his lips must be silent. And he must see to it that in the hidden man of the heart there was always the gentleness of Christ. But when the good of others required it, then he must speak even as Paul did when he wrote of … some whose influence hindered. Then the son took for a law of life these words, ‘Silence, unless the reason for speech will bear the searchlight of Eternity.’”
Amy Carmichael, His Thoughts Said
This quote reminds us to adopt a code of silence unless the reason for speech will bear the searchlight of eternity. When it’s for the sake of another person or the rescue and/or protection of another’s soul or safety, we must speak up. But if it’s a personal offense, we are simply to take that to the Lord and not bring up the faults of others.
Instead of sharing hurts with others who aren’t involved in the situation or venting your feelings on social media, follow Scripture’s encouragement to “cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pe. 5:7). Jesus is waiting to restore and comfort us, while at the same time, give us the grace to forgive and love others around us — even those who may have hurt us.
When we entrust the offenses of others to God alone — except in cases of safety for ourselves or others, like abuse — we will find that there is a joy and comfort that runs deeper than the temporary satisfaction we feel through venting our feelings with others.
When you feel God leading you to speak up, it’s important to remember the following:
- Trust God for the perfect timing. Ask Him to open the door and set the stage for you to speak into the person’s life.
- Be led of His Spirit; the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
- Confront or speak humbly and maintain gracious conduct in your interactions.
- Principles Concerning the Public Sharing of Spiritual Truths
It’s easy to assume that if what we want to say is spiritually-based, everything is good and timely. The pitfall is that sometimes in our eagerness to share spiritual insight with others, we can fail to protect the intimacy with our walk with Christ or speak before God has established this truth in our life.
Take these thoughts into consideration when you are pondering what to share with others (family, friends, and followers):
- Nowhere in Scripture are we told to share all of our spiritual walk or God’s private dealings with our soul.
- Jesus placed an emphasis on maintaining privacy in our personal prayer life (see Matthew 6:6).
- It’s easy to pass along spiritual truth to others before it has been fully formed in our own lives. Our own verbal processing can be received as Gospel Truth and potentially lead others astray.
- Spiritual truth should only be shared on a public platform after God has established the truth in our own lives — not as we are thinking about it for the first time.
- Examine your motives for sharing spiritual truth with others. (i.e. Would I be fine sharing these things even if nobody knew my name and I never got any credit for them?)
Search the Word of God for examples in Scripture of those who were encouraged to keep things private between them and the Lord. Notice the pattern in Scripture for how others have shared publicly.
As you bring this area of your life to God, He will be faithful to lead you in when to speak and when to be silent. It is a beautiful privilege and statement of faith to employ well-chosen words and also develop the master of keeping things sacred between you and the Lord!
- Ecclesiastes 3:7
- 1 Peter 5:7
- Proverbs 29:11
- Proverbs 10:19
- Proverbs 11:22