This blog is about teaching Christians the value of speaking up for yourself. If someone is killing you with their words, you have every right to defend yourself. If a friend or family member has hurt your feelings, they need to know what they said was wrong. The Bible gives us examples of people who spoke up for others and were rewarded by God.
There are so many ways we can be silenced. The Bible has a lot to say about speaking up for yourself when you know that what someone is asking of you is wrong, or when they are not treating you kindly or fairly. But the Bible also has a lot to say about speaking up with kindness and respect, as well as being careful not to speak out of turn or in anger. It’s time for us all to reclaim our voices and use them wisely.
Are you feeling overwhelmed by your busy life? Could you use some confidence? Sometimes, it’s hard to stand up for yourself. But don’t worry: God has the perfect answer for you! These inspiring Bible verses will remind you that He created you and knows everything about you. Reach out and grab a piece of courage today!
Bible Verses About Speaking Up For Yourself
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 / 110 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.
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.
Acts 5:1-42 ESV / 45 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. …
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.’
Ezekiel 3:18-19 ESV / 32 helpful votes
If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.
Psalm 19:14 ESV / 32 helpful votes
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Proverbs 29:7 ESV / 31 helpful votes
A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
Proverbs 21:23 ESV / 31 helpful votes
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
James 5:20 ESV / 30 helpful votes
Let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Colossians 3:8 ESV / 30 helpful votes
But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
Matthew 6:7 ESV / 30 helpful votes
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
1 Samuel 19:4 ESV / 30 helpful votes
And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you.
Proverbs 16:24 ESV / 29 helpful votes
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
James 1:26 ESV / 28 helpful votes
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
Acts 2:1-47 ESV / 28 helpful votes
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. …
1 Corinthians 14:1-40 ESV / 27 helpful votes
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. …
1 Peter 3:15 ESV / 26 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,
Galatians 2:11-14 ESV / 26 helpful votes
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
Ecclesiastes 3:7 ESV / 26 helpful votes
A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
Proverbs 31:7 ESV / 26 helpful votes
Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
Proverbs 18:13 ESV / 26 helpful votes
If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
Proverbs 11:12 ESV / 26 helpful votes
Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.
1 Samuel 20:32 ESV / 26 helpful votes
Then Jonathan answered Saul his father, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?”
Matthew 18:15-17 ESV / 25 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. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Ephesians 5:11-12 ESV / 24 helpful votes
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.
Ecclesiastes 10:12 ESV / 24 helpful votes
The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him.
1 John 3:18 ESV / 23 helpful votes
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
James 3:5 ESV / 23 helpful votes
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!
Proverbs 15:22 ESV / 23 helpful votes
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.
Proverbs 11:13 ESV / 23 helpful votes
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
Psalm 71:8 ESV / 23 helpful votes
My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.
Philippians 4:13 ESV / 22 helpful votes
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
John 14:27 ESV / 22 helpful votes
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.
Luke 12:3 ESV / 22 helpful votes
Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
Hosea 4:6 ESV / 22 helpful votes
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
1 Peter 3:10 ESV / 21 helpful votes
For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;
Luke 1:37 ESV / 21 helpful votes
For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Proverbs 27:6 ESV / 21 helpful votes
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Proverbs 15:23 ESV / 21 helpful votes
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
Psalm 105:1 ESV / 21 helpful votes
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
Romans 8:26 ESV / 20 helpful votes
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
John 3:20 ESV / 20 helpful votes
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
Proverbs 29:20 ESV / 19 helpful votes
Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Proverbs 25:11 ESV / 19 helpful votes
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Proverbs 17:9 ESV / 19 helpful votes
Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
1 Timothy 3:1-16 ESV / 18 helpful votes
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? …
Matthew 18:1-35 ESV / 18 helpful votes
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, …
Psalm 34:13 ESV / 18 helpful votes
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
Ephesians 6:12 ESV / 17 helpful votes
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Luke 17:3 ESV / 17 helpful votes
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,
Job 29:12 ESV / 17 helpful votes
Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him.
Titus 3:1-2 ESV / 16 helpful votes
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
Luke 11:28 ESV / 16 helpful votes
But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
Matthew 6:24 ESV / 15 helpful votes
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Revelation 1:1-20 ESV / 14 helpful votes
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood …
1 John 5:1-21 ESV / 14 helpful votes
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? …
Colossians 3:17 ESV / 14 helpful votes
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Ephesians 4:26 ESV / 14 helpful votes
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
Proverbs 26:20 ESV / 14 helpful votes
For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
Revelation 1:2 ESV / 12 helpful votes
Who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
Acts 5:27-42 ESV / 11 helpful votes
And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. …
John 6:67-71 ESV / 10 helpful votes
So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.
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.