by Laurie Whitehouse
I have had the idea rattling around in this head of mine about writing an article on “the silent treatment.” I’ve started writing the article several times, but I feel like I’m just dancing around the subject instead of getting straight to the point; so I’m just going to go straight to the point–I’m tired of seeing “mature” Christian women (and sometimes men) give other mature Christians the silent treatment, the cold shoulder, or whatever you would like to call it. I do not understand why not speaking to our sisters in Christ when we are angry, hurt, upset, jealous, confused, etc. seems to be an acceptable form of behavior in most churches. Please, don’t fool yourself. “The silent treatment” is far from acceptable according to…God’s Word.
James 1:19-22 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
According to these verses in James, we as mature Christians, are not to let wrath, which is internal seething anger, boil and fester inside ourselves. In most church settings, yelling and telling people off is considered at unacceptable, so “good” Christians learn to internalize their anger, and they have led themselves to believe that not speaking to those they are frustrated with is acceptable. What has happened to conducting ourselves in the manner of Ephesians 4:32? And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. So many Christians are good at following the rules of their church, but they have forgotten to apply such simple truths as Ephesians 4:32. What good does wearing a long skirt, buttoning the top button, working on a bus route, working the altar on a Sunday morning do, if we are not applying the most basic truths of God’s Word to our lives? We must not fool ourselves into believing that we are good because we are outwardly modest or busy at church. Real Christianity starts in the heart with the simple, basic truths that are taught to our children:
have a tender heart towards people
So when James 1:22 says to be “doers of the word,” I’m pretty sure that doesn’t only refer to being modest and being a soul winner. I’m not downplaying either of those qualities, but the REAL works of God take place in the heart and are manifested outwardly. Being kind is something you DO. Having a tender heart should be something that is DONE not just felt. “Forgive” is an ACTION.
Don’t fool yourself into believing you are good because you follow the rules. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” We all have wicked hearts that fool us into into thinking “I am good”; “I am better than others”; “My behavior is acceptable as long as I am going to church, reading my Bible, etc.”
Ask the Holy Spirit to make you sensitive to your treatment of other Christians. Sincerely search your heart to see if your spirit is judgmental. When you sense that you are guilty of mistreating your sister’s in Christ, don’t try to justify your behavior–it’s time to hit the altar and change the attitude. Learn to say, “I’m sorry,” even if you are not sure that you have offended someone, and realize when you are falling into the trap of emotionally abusing people, because that’s what the silent treatment is.
by Laurie Whitehouse
Original article can be found at http://learninggodslessons.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-silent-treatment-and-christians.html