“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:” (1 Peter 2:13–15, AV)
In 1967, an American rock band, the Four Seasons, produced a song titled, “Silence is Golden.” The first example of the phrase “Silence is golden,” reportedly comes from a translation of a Swiss inscription, “Sprecfien is silbern, Schweigen ist golden,” “Speech is silver, Silence is golden.” While we could argue this point pro and con, there are many times when we just wish we could silence people.
Some people just talk and talk without letting anyone get a word in edgewise. I remember one time when my father, mother, and I were traveling with one of my dad’s friends. He and his wife were in the front seat of the car and we were in the back. His wife was leaning over the back seat and talking to us without taking a breath for what seemed like hours. All of a sudden, her husband spoke out, “Will you shut up and give them an opportunity to say something?”
In this situation, we truly were not too bothered by her speaking, but there are other times when what people say is really hurtful. In these situations, silence is truly golden. One of those situations is when we are being accused or criticized. When people say things that are derogatory about us or the people we love, it is very hard to take. We just want to shut them up. Yet, it seems that there is not good way to do this.
Here, Peter writes about submitting to those who rule over us. God has instituted human governance to maintain order in our society. Government has been given the power to execute judgment in the civil affairs of people. Employers have the authority to do so within limits in their businesses. As believers, we are to submit to those who rule over us. Peter wrote that it is for the Lord’s sake.
He also tells us that there is a positive outcome for believers when they submit to those who rule over us. He states, “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” The word silence here, phimoo” has an interesting root. It comes from the word, phimos, which refers to a muzzle (Strong G5392). By submitting to those who rule over us, we will put a muzzle on the foolish people who would cast negative insinuations upon Christians.
Do you want to silence your critics? The best way to accomplish this is by doing good. Remember that to do good, you must obey God as supreme, that is living by kingdom principles and submitting to those who rule over you in accordance with the will of God.