Currently in smallgroups, we’re going through Jerry Bridges’ “Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate.” A really convicting read of sins that many Christians overlook and like in the title, tolerate. Usually we study a passage in the Bible that goes along with that week’s “respectable sin” and this week’s chapter is on self-control, discussing self-control in eating and drinking, personnel finances, and temper. More specifically, the author brings up the point that “anger, in most instances, is sin, but with the short-tempered person, there is the added sin of a lack of self-control.” I thought if not in all of us, certainly myself, needing to be careful and have self-control in my words towards other people. What better example could we have than of Jesus Himself, displaying self-control while being accused. First, you hafta read Matthew 26:57-68 and 27:11-26. For the lazies, all you gotta do is just click the links and the passages will come up in a new window!
In reading these passages, I realized that “Jesus remains silent.” I thought, well cool, Jesus shows a lot of self-control by not saying anything back to either the priests, elders or Pilate. Lesson noted. But then I also realized that Jesus doesn’t always keep silent, but that He does answer sometimes too. So obviously there are times we are to keep silent, and also times when it can be appropriate to speak. I saw that Jesus never answered when He was being accused but did answer when the people asked of who He was. Specifically in 26:63-64 Jesus tells the people that yeah He is “Christ, the Son of God” and in 27:11 that He is indeed the “King of the Jews.”
I thought this was an incredible example of self-control with the words that come out of our mouths. Think if you were in a similar situation of being accused. My first reaction would be anger, which no where does it even say Jesus getting angry. Then I would immediately think of some excuse or reason to shoot back at the accuser. But Jesus chose to remain silent. Jesus chose to answer the people when they would inquire who He was. When have you only spoken for the purpose of sharing who you are? A lot of times, I realize what I had just said was helpful to neither those around me (it didn’t build them up in any way) or even myself (being angry and then not having self-control to hold my tongue).
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may givegrace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
How we can keep silent? By simply remembering that Jesus kept silent. The Son of God, being accused, chose to not say a word at times. So really, who do you think you are? Who do I think I am to believe that I have some right to lash out whenever I want? Who are we to not keep silent?