Answering Questions - Christian Character & Wisdom
In any given category it matters what is right and what is wisdom and what is not. You might know some things about the Bible. Maybe you know that love is the most important thing and you may even walk in love to a good degree but I have met people who are very good lovers however, they don't have a lick of sense when it comes to Bible sense. You may be very disciplined in the basic Christian disciplines such as tithing and church attendance but as far as Bible wisdom in certain things, sometimes we just don't have it. We can be lacking in any area of Bible wisdom.
The first question I'm going to answer is - Are we obligated to be "transparent"?
In the world there has been this development of what they call "transparency". In reality, it's stupidity. The media has begun to think they have a right to know everything about your private life but they don't. People have begun to think they have to be "transparent" and let people know everything about their lives. Paul tells us it is disgraceful to even speak about the things some people do in secret. This should tell us we're not supposed to. They're not just being "real" or "transparent", they're being stupid and don't know it. Paul said there are some things you just don't talk about in public.
Don't let the news media influence you. The world's practices are not our practices. God's kingdom isn't the world's kingdom. They don't operate the same and they are not supposed to. Matthew 17 is the account of when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain. Jesus took only three of His disciples with Him. The others were not allowed to go along with Him, and Jesus had a right to choose who He would let know what would happen up there and who would not get to know what happened. And not only that, verse 9 tells us that as they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead."
I guess Jesus wasn't very transparent with His ministry. The pastors today that are proud of being "transparent" are actually being misguided because in some things it's just wisdom to keep quiet. So when they came down off the mountain the other disciples were down there waiting and asking what happened up there, they didn't get an answer. Really, in one way or another they were told it's none of your business. Jesus did not answer every question that was presented to Him and you don't have to either.
In Mark 11, Jesus was walking in the temple and the chief priests and scribes and elders came and asked Him, "By what authority are You doing these things, or who gave You this authority to do these things?". Do you know what He answered? He didn't. He responded by saying I'm going to ask you a question and if you tell Me then I'll tell you. Verse 29 - And Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one question, and you answer Me, and then I will tell you by what authority I do these things". And we know that they could not answer the question He asked them therefore He did not have to answer theirs. Verse 33 - Answering Jesus, they said, "We do not know." And Jesus said to them, "Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things."
In John's Gospel the 19th chapter we see the account of when Jesus was before Pilate. The Jews are testifying before Pilate saying, "He made Himself out to be the Son of God." And when Pilate heard this the Scriptures tell us he was even more afraid and he entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, "Where are You from?" Now, do you think Jesus answered him? No. It says, "But Jesus gave him no answer." He didn't even answer them. Silence is not always an admission of guilt, sometimes silence is wisdom.
It sounds good to say, we're just being transparent. We're being honest. Well, I just showed you that you don't have to answer every question that you're asked. People don't have a right to know everything and you are not obligated to tell them.
Now, the second question I'm going to answer is - What is the correct response when someone is talking bad about you?
We're going to start in Philippians chapter 2. This chapter tells us that although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped and that He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. And it was for this reason that God highly exalted Him. Notice what happened first? The cross. He humbled Himself to the point of death. If you want to be exalted, you cannot exalt yourself. You must just humble yourself.
Hebrews the 12th chapter says something similar. It says that Jesus, for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. And it tells us to consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. That tells us our lot as a real believer.
I Peter 2 tells us you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. We were called for a purpose - to suffer like Christ suffered and not revile in return. He uttered no threats even tho He knew what was coming to them, even tho He knew how wrong they were. Notice He left us an example to follow. All I endeavor to do is look in the Scripture to see how He acted and then I copy it because I know it's right.