When events place us in a difficult situation and things are not going right, we often attempt to take back control of the situation through a process of elimination. But as we eliminate events, even though we may halt the bad, and even the evil within these events, we also are then cut off from the good that could arise from these events if we would just step up and act.

For it is through us, those who are bothered by the evil events around us, that the good that would transform these events is to come. So when we shut down, when we become silent in the face of evil, we not only cut off the evil from us, but we also cut off the good we would bring to these events and to the land.

More than any other time, it is in these types of situations that we can contribute to God's creation. But we can only do so if we do not remain silent. And here in lies the issue — we must speak out for good in the presence of the evil. This means we must take the risk.

So in Psalm 39 the Psalmist at first convinces himself that to remain silent would be an appropriate protest to the evil around him. But his silence in the presence of evil also cut off any good he could contribute to the situation.

I said, “I will guard my ways
That I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle
While the wicked are in my presence.

I was mute and silent,
I refrained even from good,
And my sorrow grew worse.

His courage to speak out will only comes when he remembers,

Lord , make me to know my end
And what is the extent of my days;
Let me know how transient I am.

When we are mindful of the limits of this life in comparison to the eternal, we understand that we cannot control our outcome by remaining silent. Silence in this life may cut us off from evil in this life, but it does not provide any benefit in eternity.

In fact, since this life is but a breath when compared to our eternal existence, we should no longer fear speaking out against the evil in this world that will soon end.

In the end, our courage to act comes from the knowledge that this life is but a breath. Our courage to act comes when we understand and acknowledge that this life pails in comparison to the eternal. The courage to act comes when we are guided by the eternal rather than this passing life.

© 2010 – 2011, VoiceWind. . .Greg Loveless. All rights reserved.

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