Friday, March 21, 2014

Silence at the Deep End

And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not answer (Matthew 27:12 NAS)

Silence at the Deep End
“Get this done by today,” said the boss.

“I'm afraid this is not quite possible,” said the staff. “I have too many other tasks I need to complete today.” 

Such a response from a staff is seldom received positively by the boss. In a corporate environment, it is not uncommon to see bosses going off the deep end when their staff refuses to do something asked of them. How we respond to our bosses, supervisors, or employer in such situations could mean keeping or losing our job.

As believers in Christ, how should we respond when we are reprimanded, put down, or accused of insubordination or something else? Should we remain silent even when we are not in the wrong? 

We might have heard the saying, “Win an argument and lose a friend.” In Christian context, this might cost much more. In our eagerness to win an argument, our unchristianly manners might ‘kill some souls’ in turning away those around us from believing in Christ observing our 'unbecoming' behavior and response.

Jesus, when He was accused, remained silent (Matthew 27:12-14). Depending on our situation, sometimes silence might be a good way of responding. No doubt, we might get angry out of holy indignation, such as when Jesus drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple (Matthew 21:12-13). Yet we must not sin or let the sun go down on our anger (Ephesians 4:26).

Rather than let our anger burn or get ourselves into heated argument, let us learn to put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice and the like, so as not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 40:30-32). Whether our bosses or supervisors are good and gentle or unreasonable, let us respond with respect. For this finds favor if for the sake of conscience toward God, we bear up under sorrows when suffering unjustly (1 Peter 2:18-19).

So when we get thrown in at the deep end or face a situation we find too difficult to explain ourselves out the next time around, take heart and do not despair. Remember Jesus our Lord, while He was accused, He did not answer. Therefore, do not be afraid, for while men’s hatred and malice may be concealed by deception, their wickedness and wrongdoings will be exposed in public, and whoever plans evil will fall into it (Proverbs 26:26-27). For nothing concealed will not be revealed, or hidden will not be known (Matthew 10:26; Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17). 

Vindicate us, dear Lord, and plead our case against our accusers and tormentors! In Your righteousness, do not let them gloat over us. Rescue us, Lord, from those who are deceitful, wicked and hotheaded. Help us keep our cool, Lord, that we might not respond in kind to blow our top and shame Your name, or behave unruly or unchristianly, even when maligned or suffering unjustly. Grant us wisdom, Lord, to know when to remain silent and when to speak. Tame our temper and calm our spirit, O God, so we might respond with respect even to those who are unreasonable. Unhide and reveal all malice and deception, Lord, and let the truth prevail.

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