Warning: Undefined variable $show_stats in /home/everyday/www/www/wp-content/plugins/stats/stats.php on line 1384

The Silent Treatment

Posted by: admin in Uncategorized Add comments

Click here to read Psalm 108-109 on BibleGateway.com

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
 I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
    your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

SilenceBack in the good ole days of generally accepted child abuse, one of the favorite techniques of parenting was to give children the “silent treatment.”  Basically, the idea was that a parent wouldn’t talk to a child for a set amount of time (like a day or something) as a form of discipline.  Apparently, this was enough to ensure decent behavior out of rebellious children.

You rarely see that as a discipline any more, mainly because most children would pay large sums of money for their parents to stop talking to them. (historical note: this was far more effective when your family was your primary social interaction, rather than school/facebook/friends, etc.  The modern world has made this model virtually extinct.) However, it does show up in relationships once in a while, when one spouse tries to control the other by not speaking to them until they get their way.   In both cases, keeping silent is seen as a means of punishment, not as a sign of respect.


There is a recurring theme from secular commentators that “it’s fine if you want to be Christian, just keep it to yourself.”  That sounds all well and good, but unfortunately it shows a misunderstanding of what following Christ is all about.  To be a Christian means to follow Christ’s commands – and one of Christ’s explicit commands is to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” (Mark 16:15).  Therefore, to be Christian means, by definition, that we as Christians cannot keep it to ourselves.  If we do, then we are purposely disobeying Christ, and hence not Christian.  It’s a quandary, no doubt, but there it is.

Not only that, but sometimes the sheer joy of knowing Christ drives us to speak out.  A large portion of the book of Psalms (and elsewhere in the Bible) is people praising God, out of thankfulness, recognition of His greatness, for His deliverance, for healing, or a host of other reasons.  We are driven by God’s faithfulness to proclaim Him, not only in the church, but “among the nations;” that is, publicly throughout the world.


In actuality, keeping silent about Christ is  one of the most selfish things we can do, not a sign of our respect for others.  Let’s pretend that you see someone walking down the office hallway towards an open elevator shaft, but they are looking down at a stack of papers in their hand.  As they pass your office, they mutter “don’t talk to me, I’m trying to figure out this pie chart.”  Which is more respectful and loving? Should you follow their wishes and let them plunge to their cartoonishly humorous demise? Or is the more loving thing to yell “Hey Bill, heads up!” Should you warn them of impending pain, or just retreat to your office because “they don’t really want to hear my opinion.”

Of course, we don’t have to be jerks about it.  We are supposed to share in gentleness and love, not in arrogance and bitterness.  You don’t have to punch Bill in the face to get his attention.  But our love for others should compel us to try to do something.  Jesus was rarely mean or insulting, but he never shied away from telling people the truth.

If we truly love God and other people, what else can we do?


Leave a Reply

Warning: Undefined variable $user_ID in /home/everyday/www/www/wp-content/themes/papyrus-10/comments.php on line 147

Warning: Undefined array key "reg_users" in /home/everyday/www/www/wp-content/plugins/stats/stats.php on line 206