“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
This past week I was challenged by this question from a movie I watched: “Where are you men courage?” By nature I am a passive person, especially when it comes to speaking the truth to another person. Many times in my own life I have been silent and played along in the presence of injustice, offensive language or actions that I wanted to condemn. I have replayed these moments in my mind, wishing I would have spoken up, wishing I would have been light in the darkness.
Now, I know that I’m not the only person that has remained silent when a truth needed to be spoken. The Bible tells of a man who was silent when he should have spoken up. This man should have screamed as loud as he could, but he didn’t say anything. He stood by and watched in silence as his wife was being tempted (read Genesis 3). The Bible says that after Eve was deceived by Satan, she took some of the forbidden fruit and ate it. She also “gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it” (Genesis 3:6).
Adam was there the whole time, listening to every word, but he remained silent. Adam remained silent in the face of truth. You see, before God created Eve, He already commanded Adam to never eat the fruit from a certain tree. Yet as the serpent struck up a conversation with Eve, Adam stood in silence watching as Eve, his wife, stepped to the tree with the forbidden fruit, picked a piece and ate it. Why didn’t he stop her? Why didn’t he remind her of the command of God to not eat the fruit from that tree? Why didn’t he crush the serpent? He did none of these things. He stood there in silence, listening and watching. In that moment, Adam failed the woman he loved. In that moment, Adam failed to represent God. In that moment, Adam failed as a man. The silence of Adam is the beginning of every person’s failure to speak truth when it needs to be spoken.
So, let me ask you, “Where are you person of courage?” Where are you taking the path of silence in your life when you need to speak the truth? What is the cost of your silence? This is the question each of needs to answer, because there is a cost to our silence. When we are silent, relationships are damaged, marriages erode, and jobs are lost. When we choose to be silent, divisiveness and moral decline happen within our society. The cost of our silence could be somebody’s redemption and salvation. Are these cost worth our silence?
We don’t know why Adam failed and remained silent, but we can reflect on our lives and identify what keeps us silent. Perhaps it is fear or judgment. Maybe you like to be popular and to speak up will cause you to lose your standing with people. So, what is causing you to be silent when a truth needs to be spoken? Is your silence worth the cost?
This week, be courageous and speak the truth, but do it in love.