A Reason to Speak
“It’s not worth it!”
How often do we feel that way when we make some kind of sacrifice for God or others? I tend to be strategic with my choices. I’m willing to take a chance if I think there can be a “win.” If I think the other person is not going to respond well, I generally keep quiet.
That doesn’t mesh well with a concept found in Romans 3:4. In this verse, it speaks of how we as humans judge the actions of God:
“That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged” (NKJV).
Notice the capital “Y” on “You.” That “You—God.” It is easy to misread this verse because we don’t think of God as being the one who is judged. This verse is actually a quote from Psalm 51:4. In this verse, David is acknowledging that because he is known as a man of God, his actions will likely become an excuse for others to ridicule God or to accuse Him of wrong doing.
If we are called by the name Christian, our actions reflect on the reputation of God. How many people today blaspheme God or accuse God of being cruel or uncaring because of the actions of supposed “Christians”?
Because I am selfish, I like good outcomes. I will respond sacrificially to others if I think there is a chance of a good outcome. But how often do I truly respond to others according to what is needed to uphold the reputation of God? To help others see who God really is?
As I studied this verse, it became clear to me that there are times I need to speak the truth even if there is no prospect of a good outcome. Even if I know that someone will absolutely reject the truth of God, there are times when I am compelled to still speak that truth. Why?
The number one time when people will judge God is on judgment day. On that day, many will accuse God saying, “You never told me! This judgment is unfair.” When that happens, even the God of the universe “needs” a defense. After all, Luke 12:48 tells us that God judges us according to what a person “knows.” If a person has truly never been told anything about God or righteousness, how can God judge that person according to the vile things he has done?
There are times when I must speak the truth simply because it is the right thing to do. There may not appear to be any good reason to speak up, because my words will seemingly be scattered to the wind. But words are eternal. As Romans 3:4 says, God needs to be able to overcome objections when He is judged. For His reputation’s sake, we need to be quick to acknowledge our sin even as David did.
We also need to be more open to give witness to who He is and to what is right. Because of our words, and because of righteous actions, God will have an answer for the wicked on judgment day. When they cry “I never knew,” God will be able to point by to the day and time of your words. God will be able to say to the cynic, “You are without excuse.”
Sometimes we need to speak or act even if the outcome seemingly will be a negative retort or even persecution. I know I am guilty of trying to be “strategic” with my words and actions. Sometimes strategic is just another way of saying I look out for myself.
Do you live so that on judgment day, God will be able to overcome the objections of the wicked? Will God be able to point to your words and your actions and say to the wicked, “You were told. It was clearly demonstrated to you”?
If it is “worth it” to God and for His reputation, it should be “worth it” for me. Way too much of the time, I am worried about my wellbeing. I am worried about my reputation. Because I am selfish and get discouraged about a lack of positive outcomes, I question whether or not living for God is “worth it.” My discouragement often comes out of my own selfishness, with me wanting to see the outcomes I want.
Are you living so that God can overcome when He is judged? We do have a reason to speak up!