October 16, 2016

Speak Up – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

In Ephesians 4:25 the Apostle Paul commanded, “…speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.” This passage clearly teaches us not to lie but that is not the primary thought. The order of the verb “speak” in the original Greek indicates an emphatic emphasis. Paul is ordering us to speak, to speak up. He requires that we must not be silent. We must have the courage and determination to speak the truth when we are tempted to be silent.

The following story illustrates one such occasion.

A man and his wife were angry and giving each other the silent treatment. The next week, the man realized that he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight to Chicago. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and lose), he wrote on a piece of paper, “Please wake me at 5:00 AM.”

The next morning the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and that he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife had not awakened him when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, “It is 5:00 AM. Wake up!”

We laugh at this and it is funny, but it is also sad and it is sinful. Love and the instruction of the Holy Spirit prohibits this conduct.

All too often husbands and/or wives clam up when they should speak up. Unresolved differences, pent up, unexpressed accusation of sin fester into destructive bitterness and more and more sin. Such tragic circumstances are not resolved by time but by confrontation of sin, repentance, confession and forgiveness.

Brethren sometimes find themselves in similar circumstances with other brethren and clam up, perhaps out of ignorance, then again it may just be cowardice or even rebellion. The instructions of the Holy Spirit are emphatic. We must speak up. Likewise, Matthew 18:15 commands, “Go,” go and win your brother. A failure to go may cause two souls to be lost, yours and theirs. Determine to speak up and say what needs to be said, “for” as Paul reminds us, “we are members of one another.”

When we have opportunity to teach a friend the gospel, we have to decide, will we speak up and risk our warm fuzzy relationship, expose ourselves to the possibility of belittling ridicule, or will we fold under the negative possibilities. The early church understood this difficulty and prayed, “grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,” Acts 4:29. The Contemporary English Version says, “make us brave enough to speak your message.” Let’s pray this prayer and determine to do our part to make it come true.

 

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