As a parent, one of the most important things you can do is to teach your children to speak up for themselves. Children need to understand that they have a right to ask questions and express their feelings without fear of being ridiculed or demeaned in any way by others. They need to understand that it is not only okay – but important – to disagree with others and speak out when they sense injustice or inequality occurring.
As Christians, we are called to make a difference in our world. We are called to speak out against evil and injustice. In this post, we will look at some Bible verses that can help us better understand what this means.
Bible Verses About Speaking Out
1 Peter 3:15-16 ESV / 179 helpful votes
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
Proverbs 31:9 ESV / 153 helpful votes
Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Romans 1:16 ESV / 124 helpful votes
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Romans 10:9 ESV / 112 helpful votes
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Proverbs 31:8 ESV / 111 helpful votes
Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.
Acts 18:9-10 ESV / 97 helpful votes
And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”
Ephesians 4:29 ESV / 91 helpful votes
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Colossians 3:16 ESV / 78 helpful votes
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV / 78 helpful votes
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Colossians 4:6 ESV / 69 helpful votes
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Ephesians 4:15 ESV / 69 helpful votes
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
James 1:19 ESV / 66 helpful votes
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
Proverbs 15:4 ESV / 64 helpful votes
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Galatians 6:1 ESV / 62 helpful votes
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Proverbs 10:19 ESV / 57 helpful votes
When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Proverbs 15:1 ESV / 56 helpful votes
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Psalm 141:3 ESV / 53 helpful votes
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
Isaiah 1:17 ESV / 52 helpful votes
Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV / 51 helpful votes
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
Ephesians 5:19 ESV / 50 helpful votes
Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,
Proverbs 17:28 ESV / 50 helpful votes
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
Proverbs 13:3 ESV / 49 helpful votes
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Proverbs 31:8-9 ESV / 48 helpful votes
Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Matthew 18:15 ESV / 47 helpful votes
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
Acts 5:1-42 ESV / 46 helpful votes
But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. …
Psalm 94:16 ESV / 46 helpful votes
Who rises up for me against the wicked? Who stands up for me against evildoers?
Hebrews 13:15 ESV / 45 helpful votes
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
Luke 6:45 ESV / 45 helpful votes
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
James 5:13 ESV / 44 helpful votes
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
Acts 4:18-20 ESV / 44 helpful votes
So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
Ephesians 5:1 ESV / 43 helpful votes
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
Proverbs 18:21 ESV / 43 helpful votes
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Luke 18:35-43 ESV / 42 helpful votes
As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” …
Acts 19:1-41 ESV / 41 helpful votes
And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. …
1 Peter 3:9 ESV / 38 helpful votes
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
Proverbs 11:9 ESV / 37 helpful votes
With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
Ephesians 4:25 ESV / 36 helpful votes
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
James 3:2 ESV / 35 helpful votes
For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
Zechariah 8:16 ESV / 35 helpful votes
These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace;
Matthew 12:36 ESV / 32 helpful votes
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,
Matthew 7:21-23 ESV / 32 helpful votes
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Bible Verses About Speaking Up
Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
There is a time to speak and a time to be silent but we must never be silent when we’re speaking about the gospel. If you had the cure for a deadly disease and you kept it to yourself, that’s almost like negligent homicide for those who have the disease. We have the cure for the wrath of God that sin had brought upon us, so we must share this very good news. Trust the power that’s in the gospel and don’t’ be silent for it’s the power to save, or as the Apostle Paul puts it, “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1st Cor 1:18).
First Peter 3:15-16 “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
When someone asks you about the joy you have, you can say that you have been saved and Jesus has given you His joy but also His peace and this peace will remain forever. Just prior to Jesus going to the cross to suffer and die and then return to the Father, the disciples were very anxious so Jesus speaks to them and says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
When you see a brother or sister living in sin, obviously we must speak up, but here, Paul writes as if someone’s been caught in the act and so “if anyone is caught in any transgression” you should restore them in a gentle way and not harshly or judgmentally because we too can be tempted to do the very same thing. There is nothing here that suggests that we bring this to the attention of others…better to keep it between you and your brother or sister, but by all means, do speak up but do it in love.
First John 5:16 “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.”
This Bible verse has troubled many a Christian because they do not know what sin it is that leads to death. Is it a sin that’s un-repented of? Is it a besetting sin that the believer just can’t overcome? At least we know that the Apostle John says if we see a brother or sister committing a sin not leading to death, we should go to them in the hope that they will repent. Either way, we must speak up as some sins do lead to death, at least a physical death but some do not. Obviously sexual immorality is one of the most grievous sins and John may have had that in mind when he wrote this.
Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”
This is clearly Jesus teaching the disciples about church discipline and we must speak up with a believer sins against us or the church but we first go to them and speak to them in private (“you and him alone”) in the hopes they’ll listen, but if not, we bring another witness or two and if this still doesn’t work, bring it before the church (Matt 18:16-17). Sin must be dealt with and no one should be allowed to openly sin in the church. If they do, speak up.
Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”
I would rather have a friend tell me that I am wrong instead of being wrong. In other words, I’d rather be corrected than incorrect. Our friends should love us enough to tell us the truth and speak up when we’re in the wrong. This is so much better than living in error while your enemies pour out accolades upon you.
Ephesians 5:11 “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
The Apostle Paul wants all of us to expose error when we see it and this obviously means we speak up and expose those who are teaching error. We’re not to have anything to do with them except to warn others of the heretical or false teaching because to remain silent is to condone this error, so there is a time to speak up, especially when it comes to exposing apostasy.