Luke 12:8-9 | Matthew 7:21, 5:14 | Psalm 37:5-6 | 1 John 2:6
This has nothing to do with the Fifth Amendment.
Just because you have the right to remain silent, it doesn’t mean that you should. On the other hand, actions speak louder than words.
Let’s say you want to share your love of Jesus with your friends and family, but every time you try to talk about him, it doesn’t go well. It might be time for a little less talk.
Don’t get the wrong idea–telling people about Jesus is the right thing to do. You never want to be ashamed of being associated with Jesus.
“I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels. But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels.”Luke 12:8-9 NLT
Yet sometimes people are not open to talking about Jesus. Maybe they don’t like being confronted with their own sinfulness and shortcomings. Maybe they just get that weird feeling in their gut when they hear his name.
Besides, Talk is cheap. Anyone can say anything about whatever and that doesn’t make it true.
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”Matthew 7:21 NLT
Jesus says it’s not so much about talk as it is action. Do you do the Father’s will? You will enter his Kingdom. And your actions will be your silent witness.
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.Psalm 37:5-6 NLT
It’s hard to miss the sun in the middle of the day. If you commit everything you do to the Lord and trust him to help you, he will make your good intentions just as obvious as you speak. So you don’t have to be mute to make it work!
Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.1 John 2:6 NLT
When your actions line up with your words, you don’t have to worry about your message.
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT
If all this seems a little overwhelming, take a deep breath. Put your focus on following Jesus, and don’t be afraid to tell people about your faith in him.
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”Matthew 5:14 NLT
Questions for Group Discussion
- What does it mean to be a silent witness? Does it mean you never talk about Jesus? Or does it mean to back up your words with action?
- How can you make sure you aren’t becoming ashamed of Jesus?
- Is there anything wrong with talking to other people about Jesus? What if they are of a different religion? What if they are hostile toward Christianity? What about separation of church and state?
Challenge: The Right to Remain Silent
Actions speak louder than words. But how will they know if you don’t tell them?
It might be easy to think, “I don’t have to tell people about Jesus. They’ll know I’m a Christian by my love!” You might have even read this devotion and thought, “Yes! I will be a silent witness. No more awkward God conversations for me!”
But ask yourself this:
- If you treat people kindly, are faithful in your work and in your relationships, deal honestly, etc., what is there to differentiate you from a kind Hindu, a nice Buddhist, or even a conscientious atheist?
- As a counterpoint, does Jesus want you making everybody uncomfortable all the time with your persistent lecturing about virtue and salvation?
Your challenge: figure out how you’re going to navigate your way through these two questions.
- Write down your answers to these two questions.
- Write a conclusion that states your policy on how you will share your faith in Jesus.
- Condense all this into 3-5 brief sentences that you could carry on a card in your wallet or on your phone.