Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dare to Speak the Truth

And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:18-20 NAS)

Truth Do we dare to speak the truth if we see our fellow colleague being accused of something he or she did not do by a supervisor trying to cover up for his mistake, or do we leave our colleague to be accused by the management? Do we let that supervisor go scot free, or do we defend the righteous? What if by speaking the truth, we risk losing our jobs? Do we still dare to speak the truth when under threat, or do we stand accused of letting down our faith?

As Christians, we are constantly faced with the dilemma whether to speak the truth and risk finding troubles for ourselves, or remain silent in the face of injustice. Speaking the truth is never easy, and daring to do so is difficult, but as a people called by God to be His witnesses, we should always stand up to speak the truth, because only by speaking the truth can we and the unsaved be set free (John 8:32). When in situations such as the false accusation of a colleague, therefore, we must always be prepared to speak the truth, to stand courageous for what is right, and defend the wrongly accused, to confront the accuser, and not close an eye to cover up for the accuser's mistake in order to keep our jobs. How we response to injustice in situations such as this will determine what others think of the Christian faith, and this can lead people to Christ or turn them away from Him.

Our first step, therefore, in desiring to lead people to Christ, should be to live exemplary lives, and this can only be achieved if we are willing to come clean before God in all areas of our lives, to present ourselves holy and acceptable to Him in living holy lives (Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 1:15-16). We should also desire to practice the truth, so that our deeds may manifest our lives as having been wrought in God (John 3:21), and this will require us to live our lives for Christ in showing more of our Lord, and less of ourselves (John 3:30), not as the world shows in staging a scene for others to see, but from the innermost depths of our hearts, truthfully, genuinely, and naturally (Matthew 6:1, 5; Luke 6:45).

Like Peter and John who did not give in when commanded to stop speaking in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18-20), we should also heed God's command and not fret to risk our all in speaking the truth, even if the consequence may put us in an unfavorable position (1 Peter 3:14). Our attitudes should express no fear when we know we are following God's order, because God is with us to see us through. Therefore, in daring to speak the truth in obeying Christ, we must be prepared to pay the price, and be ready to face the accuser in standing up for the truth, and in stemming out lies, to live out Christ in our lives (1 Peter 3:16-17).

Help us therefore, O Lord, never to close an eye to help the righteous. Grant us courage to stand firm against the accuser, and as Your witnesses draw strength from You in living victorious lives, to manifest Your likeness in all we do, that man through us may glorify You.

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