Stop Standing In Silence
The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. — John 18:17-18
I reread this text this morning, and this instance captured me again. What Peter does here is indicative of the problem with many believing men.
They stand around the campfire, silent.
Believing men have become silent in our time. We live, work, and stand within proximity of others who hold a variety of different beliefs. People who work in influential roles in the public and private sectors, like here "servants and officers." God orchestrates these moments to give us opportunities to share the truth. He brings us close using very natural circumstances, like here, the "cold" of the night. But professing believers, like Peter, do nothing and say nothing. We stand around silent.
The sad part is that believing men have learned to do this. We have been trained to be silent by the shame of the world or by the fear of persecution. They have convinced themselves a personal faith can exist privately and does not need to go public because of the fear of persecution. But this only leads to atrophy — "a gradual decline in effectiveness due to underuse or neglect." And once spiritual atrophy has set in, it paralyzes men in other experiences. Believing men then become silent in the church, silent in their marriage, and silent with their children. They then live lives of quiet desperation, confused but convinced that something needs to change. But they don't know what to do or say. So, instead of doing something or saying something, they continue to stand around the campfire in the cold, contemplating their failure.
Stop it. Stop being silent. Break free from your spiritual atrophy today. Declare a struggle. Repent from a sin. Activate a spiritual discipline. Lead your family spiritually. Share your faith and belief in Jesus. But don't do what Peter did here. Don't stand around the campfire in silence because if you do, you are just training yourself to be spiritually apathetic. And spiritually apathetic men are spiritually pathetic.
Have there been times in your life when you chose to remain silent about your faith or beliefs in a situation where you could have spoken up? What was the reason for your silence?
Reflect on any fears or anxieties you have about openly sharing your faith. How do these fears impact your ability to be vocal about your beliefs?
Consider whether you've ever felt spiritually stagnant or apathetic. Can you identify moments when your faith became less active, and what contributed to this?
What specific steps can you take today to break free from spiritual atrophy and become more active in your faith and in sharing it with others?
Share any experiences where you stepped out of your comfort zone and shared your faith or took bold action in your spiritual journey. How did it affect you and those around you?
What is one specific action or conversation you can initiate in the near future to break the cycle of silence in your faith and become more spiritually engaged?
DO THIS: Stop standing around the campfire silent.
PRAY THIS: Lord, grant me the strength and courage to break the silence, overcome fear, and be an active vessel of your love and truth in this world. Help me to live out my faith boldly and make a positive impact on those around me. Amen.
PLAY THIS: Breaking the Silence.
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