Many of you are probably thinking that the title does not make any sense, right?
“How can this be? How can silence be deadly? I would imagine that saying something would be more dangerous than not saying anything at all.”
Take your typical horror or scary movie in the theaters. What happens? There is the protagonist ( the main character) and then you have your antagonist (usually a killer, monster, or the like). The main characters try to evade the monster by hiding. Now you can guess what is going to happen next because every movie features this scene.
You guessed it. The main character is trying to hide but accidentally makes a sound. They make a lot of noise and there you go; they are found and the movie usually ends with the antagonist coming out on top. Being silent in this instance would have been beneficial to their survival.
But will being silent in your walk with the Lord be beneficial to your survival? God does not call us to be silent but to abandon everything to him.
I, personally, am a very passive person. I remain silent in times that I need to vocalize what I am thinking, whether it be with something as menial as a restaurant choice or something as crucial as finding the right friends to be around. There are many choices to be made throughout the day and we cannot make those choices if we remain silent.
“Now the serpent was craftier than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So, when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:1-6, ESV)
Here, Adam and Eve are in the Garden of Eden and have been told not to eat from one specific tree. They could have everything else except from this one tree. As they carried on, the serpent, who is said to be a representation of chaos and confusion, makes its way into the lives of Adam and Eve. The serpent begins to work and eventually, convinces Eve to take the fruit from the tree.
Here. This is where silence is deadly. As is referenced in verse 6, Adam was with Eve in the garden. He was there when the serpent convinced Eve to eat the fruit. He saw it all happening. There is no evidence in the scripture that Adam said anything to Eve to try to convince her otherwise.
I see this happening throughout my life every single day. Just a quick backstory of my recent years, I have been dealing with an addiction pornography that I finally confronted and took hold of. That is where I was not silent. I spoke against the power Satan had over me with the pictures and videos that were being put in front of me. You can say, ‘Wow, that is amazing that you’re stepping up and speaking out”. But here is where I am silent. Sin is an everyday struggle, and while God’s mercies are new every day, sin is a never-ending struggle because we are human. There are days where I can resist the temptation and there are days where I am silent, let the temptation run over me, and ultimately, sin against our God.
Continuing reading in verse 7 of Genesis 3, the consequence of being silent is shown.
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Gen. 3:7, ESV)
Adam did not speak up. He and Eve did not have a conversation on whether they should eat the fruit or not. He let the serpent convince Eve and he went along with it.
The consequences I have suffered from being silent include bouts with depression, anxiety, and most importantly, doubt in God. I doubted that He could heal me and thought that I did not deserve the grace I have been shown by God. God is just, but He is also forgiving. I have had my fair share of consequences but have seen that God is there. He loves me relentlessly. He sent His Son to die on the Cross for me and my sin. Because of that, I am no longer choosing to be silent.