Posted by: stbideas | November 17, 2009

When good men do nothing

There are various ways to save the world, you can name them. In this short piece, I discuss the consequences of the appalling silence of good men.

Each and every time we do not rebuff an evil act, we have made a choice to promote such evil act. We are therefore guilty. Guilty of helping evil succeed.

When we do nothing, we are accomplices to gross evil. In fact the Lord despises those who are lukewarm. Let us reason together. Jesus was very compassionate and yet He was consumed with Zeal for God when it comes to rebuking evil deeds. Some examples are sufficient to drive this point home:

  • John 2:13-22 – Jesus violently drove the merchants and their merchandise out of the temple for ever daring to turn God’s house into a market place
  • Luke 11:37-54 – Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and insincerity.
  • Revelations 3:15-17 – Jesus rebuked the church in Laodicea because they are neither hot nor cold.

It is often the case that evil succeed, not because of the numbers involved in the plot but more because good men like you and I are not willing to stand up for what is right.

Whenever you refuse to lift a finger when you see an evil deed, you are no longer a promoter of good works.

He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. –  1 Peter 3:11-12

If we are made in the likeness of God’s image (Genesis 1:27), if God is good, we are also by nature good. It follows that whenever you tolerate an evil act, that action is contrary to your God’s given nature. You are therefore no longer good.

Whenever you keep quiet, you are not only guilty, you are making an already bad situation worse. You fiddle with your future, those of your children and children’s children, in short, your destiny is at risk!

I am afraid because we all would suffer from this “appalling silence”.  The act of promoting evil deeds, calls for forgiveness without which the Lord will deal with us all (Jeremiah 17:10).  As Martin Luther King Jr puts it:

We shall have to repent in this generation, not so much for the evil deeds of the wicked people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.

Let us think about this. Every time you correct an evil act, you are not only trying to save yourself and those who are close to you, but the world as a whole and more importantly you are saving the soul of the evildoer.  You are ensuring that the man sees his own sin. You know, ones you are aware of your sin, repentance is easier.

Every time Jesus Christ put a wrongdoer in the right perspective, I believe it’s not just for the sake of it but I suppose to ensure that they change from their evil ways and turn to God.

Perhaps, the best way to make the world a better place is to increase the number of good men. Good men who are able to speak up against evil. Good men who stand their ground on what they know to be true. Good men who are not ashamed to forestall everything shameful. Good men who won’t just stand idly by and watch evil succeed.

See friends, the heart of man is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), if we do not want evil to succeed, then we have the responsibility to speak up against it.

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. – Ephesians 5:11

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. – 2 Timothy 4:2

To model goodness, you can’t just sit idly and ignore evil works.

It starts with you and I.

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Responses

  1. Motivational post–nicely done.

  2. Thanks. Checking out your blog.

  3. Great and insightful.

  4. Nice piece. A good reminder that our salvation lies in the little things we seemingly take for granted. If we all make the effort to make our voice and opinion heard on issues that concern us, our stance would be obvoius and our message would be clear.

  5. Whoah, I think this is the right step to making Nigeria a better Nation, sitting down folding our hands is still the reason we are at this shameful position. I pledge to keep addressing what I see wrong at all times, starting from myself to my friends and everyone around me.

    I thank my very good friend for sharing this piece with me, very educative.

  6. The write up is inspiring. Anyway it reminds us all that God is interested in rasing Kingdom minded people with passion for EXCELLENCE. Character is only a triat potent enough to set us apart and it is a distinguishing feature. Only a selected few have EXCELLENCE attached to theirs. The question is, Are YOU set apart to belong to the ‘GOOD MEN’ in your little corner daily?. Where standeth thou?. Are we depopulating corruption or corrupting the depopulated excellent minds by the kind of things we do. Day bby day those we come across seek living books to read from, is our life an example of a BESTSELLER type every body wants to acquire or a HORROR movie full of despair and signifying nothing?. So let tha good man start with us, the world will be a better place to live. .

  7. I have emailed this to everyone I know in the hope that it will spread and eventually make my country a better place.

    We got into this mess in the first place because good men did nothing and bad men thrived as a result.

    The formula for chaos is truly not complete without the “it’s not my business” / “what change will my contribution achieve?” ingredient.

    Remember the popular poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power:
    “First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me”.

    Thank you for sharing this with me.

  8. ………a thought-provoking piece. I think I’ll read this at least once a day for some time to remind me that i have to do “something” about any wrongdoing around me. All Nigerians need to imbibe this culture for our nation to get better.

  9. As a young child I was often told I was a talkactive. They were probably right because I am posting comment for the second time on this single write-up. As I grew up, I strugged to keep quiet and often felt like I was fasting each time I did. It was “harrrd”!
    Then I suddenly realised that quietness is not necessarily a virtue. Keeping quiet is harmful to the society as evil reigns supreme. Keeping quiet in the face of evil means contributing to evil, though passively. How true is the axiom “silence means yes”. Refusal to upbraid evil is an indirect way of saying “yes” to evil and a direct contradiction of the scriptures
    “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11)
    “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:16-17)

  10. Great post. Thanks for standing and being heard. We are dealing with the same issues in the US where we have 300,000 pulpits preaching mostly positive christianity but not standing for truth when it comes to engaging our society, powerful political forces, and even social taboos. keep up the good work.

    • @durablefaith. Thank you for dropping by and leaving your comment. I am always excited to meet people who are like minded and who are not ashamed of the gospel.


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