When Quiet Equals Judment
Over the years I’ve had a pattern of sitting quietly by, while others carried the ball in discussions. I rarely spoke up in a meeting to give my honest opinion. If I did speak, it was in response to a direct question or only after I figured out the mood of the crowd and said what I thought would float. I would often sit there and compare myself to others: "So and so has not said any-thing," or "I have said as much as that person" (always thinking about me).
I now see that my quietness is really judgmental and prideful. Here is how being quiet works in me. My quiet is in response to a normal fear of being wrong, embarrassed or found out (self-protection = INDEPENDENT BELIEVING). When I don’t speak back to the fear (I’m Christ in my form and can speak up regardless of my fearful feelings), I buy into it and it becomes wrong fear (sin) and Satan has me by my members. And his purpose is to slaughter everyone around me. I then go into a downward spiral–more fear, more quiet–until it’s almost impossible to say anything. For me, the only way out is to say the thing that God is telling me. And if I am honest, I do know what it is.
When others of us are doing the same thing, we set up the ones who are speaking to take all the hits from Satan. The picture I got was that of David sending Uriah the Hittite into battle, then having the troops withdraw so he would be the target of all the enemy’s arrows and be killed. We who remain quiet do the same thing to the ones who take the risk of saying what they are thinking.
Then I asked myself, "Why do I do that?" and the answer came that I thought my way (being quiet–not getting angry, raising voices, etc.) was better. That is judgmental and prideful (SIN). Since I have done this all my life and being quiet hasn’t gotten me what I wanted (which is not new news) I asked myself this: Why I would continue to do this when I knew that it upset every-one who cares for me? The answer was that my view of sin was that it’s not all that bad. Specifically, how could being quiet hurt anyone? I always told myself that I was saving the other person embarrassment. But what I now know is that the only one I was trying to protect from possible embarrassment was an "independent" me that has never existed!
When I thought about my view that sin wasn’t really that had, I had two thoughts come to mind: the agony on my daughter’s face when she talked to me about the results of my sin and that it was sin that put Jesus on the Cross. There have been many more examples that have since come to mind. The point is that sins are the products of Satan and are in direct opposition to God. That’s evil and is opposite of my view that sin "isn’t all that bad."
I believe that both of these ideas about quiet and about sin came from my childhood. We know that our view of God comes from our childhood view of our father. My father was wishy-washy and I can remember being spanked only one time. Also, anger was not expressed openly in my family. It was there but always expressed indirectly. So, when I see anger expressed now, my first response is to hide (be quiet). It’s almost like I shut down inside.
Knowing where these emotional responses come from is good information, but I am now responsible for my own actions and choices. The truth is that I was being judgmental and pride -by believing that my way was better. In fact, what I was doing was letting Satan run me and, in the process, destroying others around me. I became a weapon of wrath when I let Satan operate my members.
The real me is Christ/Ron, and I can (must) share what is going on in my guts, regardless of how it feels. Sometimes God chooses one person to reveal a truth, and if he does not speak up, it may be lost. For sure the quiet one does not get the privilege of knowing God has said something through him. I must take the chance of looking foolish or I will never know what God may have brought out for the benefit of others. Also, I will never get the opportunity for correction, if my believing is off. Being quiet is the exact opposite of the biblical command to "exhort one another daily … lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13).
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 12 No 3
- Editor’s Note
- To Think About…Faith
- Rethinking the 12 Steps
- Moments with Meryl
- How Do You See?
- A Look at a Book
- 1996 British Easter Conference Report
- The Letter to the Romans
- Tape Talk
- Excerpts from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Questions & Answers
- The Mailbox
- When Quiet Equals Judment
- 1996 Annual Business Report
- Youth "Business"
- Be Yourself
- Words to Live By…