Speak Up! head image

Speak Up!

February 18, 2024

Dr. Paul Cannings

It is said that King Philip of Macedon fell asleep one day while hearing a case. Waking suddenly and not having all the facts of the case straight, King Philip passed an unjust sentence on the man who was at the king’s mercy. Stunned by the sentence, the poor man cried, “I appeal!” Startled, the king asked, “And to whom do you appeal?” The man replied, “From the king who was sleeping to the king who is waking.” The king was so moved by the man’s logical appeal that he reversed the judgment he had passed. (Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times).

Many times, when we are faced with moments where individuals may believe they were treated unjustly, it is easy for believers to say nothing and pray. This can lead to bitterness, anger, and resentment. The scriptures are clear that to say nothing encourages more evil. “Therefore at such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time.” (Amos 5:13; NASU) Many times, when Christ was challenged for being evil, He spoke up. In the case where the Pharisees accused Him of being with satan, Christ openly addressed them (Matthew 12:22-29). When Peter was addressing those who were struggling under Nero’s ruthless oppression, Peter instructed these believers to speak up; “Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed, and do not fear their intimidation….always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” (1 Peter 3:13-16; NASU) Our silence can encourage more evil to proliferate.


Jesus Christ’s mission on earth was for the oppressed, and most of His miracles and acts of kindness were to disadvantaged people; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Luke 5:18-19). Christ went to the Samaritan woman and even spent time with those who came out of the village to hear His message (John 4:39-45); not a good look for a Jew (see Acts 10).

The question is not whether we should speak up or serve needs (Matthew 25:31-40; we will be rewarded eternally for this), but how we do so with words that are seasoned and edifying (Colossians 4:6; Ephesians 4:29). We are where we are today because many spoke up, stood up, including Christ; be counted, be a blessing!