There is a time to speak up (Ecclesiastes 3:7).
There is wisdom in knowing when to be silent and when to speak up. Even the U.S. Constitution protects each one of these in the Fifth and First Amendments, respectively. In a world that is ever ready to speak its mind, being quiet often takes more strength than speaking up. But in many instances, not only is silence unethical and unbiblical, but also harmful.
The main hindrance to speaking up is fear or a lack of self-confidence. A wrong spirit is behind both. No matter what your personality, every believer is called to be bold as a lion. Boldness knows when to be silent, but it also doesn’t give way to fearful thoughts when it’s clear that speaking up is the right thing to do.
If you’re wondering when you should speak up versus when you should stay silent (see 8 Times You Should Stay Silent HERE), ask the Lord to reveal to you the areas where you’ve been timid, and ask Him to give you boldness where you need it most. Then, consider these 7 Times You Should Speak Up, and challenge yourself to stand as a pillar of faith in the face of even the most intimidating circumstances.
1. When You Witness Wrongdoing
While everything we say and do should come from the leading of the Holy Spirit, there are instances when staying silent is clearly not morally or ethically right, including when someone is being cheated or harmed. The righteous are bold as a lion. They do not hesitate to do what is right for fear of what man can do to them or any potential consequences. They do what is right no matter what (Isaiah 1:17).
If you struggle with boldness, pray and ask God to give you a boldness to always do what is right in His sight, and speak up when you should.
2. When Righteousness in a Nation Is Threatened.
Some Christians don’t like confrontation. They don’t like the idea of being disliked, and they don’t have the confidence to stand up for biblical values in the public square. So, they stay silent—in the workplace, with friends, on social media. This, however, is not optional in the eyes of God. We have a responsibility to steward the nation we’ve been given and speak for the voiceless (Proverbs 31:8).
Further, we have been told that we will face persecution in this world, just as Jesus did, so avoiding it is avoiding our calling (2 Timothy 3:12).
Find more tips on “uncanceling” yourself HERE.
3. When It’s Time To Vote
We are stewards of whatever nation God has placed us in. As we know from the parable of the talents, “doing nothing” is not an acceptable option for a steward. When we come together as believers and vote, we invite God into our nation and preserve peace, prosperity and freedom for future generations. Voting is another form of speaking up for what’s right. Blessings in a nation don’t just happen on their own. They come when people are willing to speak up for what’s right.
4. When You Have a Chance To Share the Gospel
The gospel is a matter of life and death. We have the key to eternal life, and we are responsible for sharing it with the world! It is our Great Commission (Mark 16:15-16). Though evangelism can be intimidating (see our tips HERE), this is a time when you should not—cannot—remain silent. The lost and hurting in the world needs you.
5. When You Need To Correct a Brother or Sister in Christ
Another time when you should speak up is when you see another Christian falling into sin or heading down a wrong path. People don’t generally like to be called out, but what they do with correction is their responsibility—honoring and obeying God’s Word (Hebrews 3:13) is ours. It’s sad when people don’t know how to receive correction, because a rebuke gets us back on the right path, and those who are wise seek correction and receive it with gladness.
James 5:19-20 tells us, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (NKJV). In the case when someone has wronged you directly, Jesus gave us a process in Matthew 18:15-18. If you ever find yourself in the position where you need to correct another Christian, get past your fear of their response and love them enough to bring truth to their hearts.
6. When You Want To Live a Victorious Life
It’s no secret in this circle—words have power. Though you should stay silent when you aren’t prepared to speak the Word of God over your life, you shouldn’t stay there long. Spend time in the Word and listening to faith-filled teachings. Then, speak your desired outcome all day, every day. Let it become a habit in your life. When you experience victory upon victory, you’ll be glad you chose to speak up.
7. When You’re Facing an Emergency Situation
A big, unexpected bill; a health emergency; or a family crisis. Satan is on the scene and he is trying to steal, kill and destroy. What do you do? You certainly shouldn’t stay silent! This is the time to talk back just as Jesus did when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. How did Jesus respond? With the Word of God. The devil has no defense against it. Always have your arsenal of scriptures and promises that you can hurl at the enemy when he comes. He’ll have to turn tail and run as soon as you open your mouth!
Whatever you do, don’t stay silent, and don’t speak words contrary to God’s Word.
When you keep these seven times you shouldn’t be silent in mind in the coming weeks, be sure you put effort into growing in the area of spiritual boldness. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it is necessary for anyone who wants to live a victorious life!
Watch Gloria Copeland and Pastor George Pearsons teach you why you reap what you speak.