See Something, Say Something!

In Blogs by Clarence Johnson1 Comment


The threat of domestic and foreign danger is growing more and more prevalent in a world fueled by animosity and anarchy.

Respect for life, law, and authority is rapidly evaporating. A collective plea for vigilance cries out, “See Something, Say Something!”

The call to “See Something, Say Something” is nothing new. It is an ancient principle of preservation and protection, a divine code of relationship given to the people of God and their leaders in both Testaments.

It is well known that every Christian has a responsibility to look out for the well-being of his brother or sister in the family of God. When warning signs of spiritual danger or sin are evident, we are commanded to, in a sense, “See Something, Say Something” (Philippians 2:4; Galatians 6:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:14–15; James 5:19-20).

In addition to the vigilance of the church family, church leaders are also specifically commissioned by God to watch out for the souls of those under their ministry (Hebrews 13:7). To keep watch means to be vigilant and attentive to any sign of wandering or impending danger. Night and day, they are required to be awake and on guard, attentive to the deeper spiritual needs and dangers of the flock.

Pastors and elders will be called before the Lord to give an account for the way in which they accomplish this God-given obligation.

Pastors and leaders must not be silent! The text of Hebrews 13:17 asserts that God holds them, and them alone, answerable for watching over the souls of the flock. This demands that they say something when they see something. Pastors and elders will be called before the Lord to give an account for the way in which they accomplish this God-given obligation.

Godly leaders are directed to guard the sheep with humble tenacity without lording over them. It is vital that they watch the flock for behaviors that may rob individuals of the abundant life which is theirs in Christ. Even the slightest deviation from the path of truth can put a brother, sister, or church in the clutches of the Roaring Lion who stalks the saints seeking to destroy and devour their testimony and walk with God (1 Peter 5:8).

We live in a “mind your own business” culture. Individual rights and assumed personal freedoms have taken precedence over the good, the moral, and the true. In spite of biblical warnings, the tentacles of this philosophy have twisted their way into the mindset of the local church. Seeing God’s protective plan of accountability as authoritarian or intrusive, many churchgoers reject the deep and meaningful watch care of their leaders. They believe their personal relationships and private lives are off limits and no one’s business.

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Spiritually warning others is not a simple task and caution is urged. It is often misunderstood or mishandled, or both. Biblical guidelines are to be carefully followed and self-examination is a mandatory prerequisite. With a wrong motive or heart, any one, leader or follower, could easily slip into the depths of being a holier-than-thou busybody. Is our heart prepared to properly “See Something, Say Something”?

On the other hand, it is not easy to receive such input with humility. God warns that it is unprofitable to reject the genuine watch care of others, especially our church leaders. If they see something in our life that may lead us into spiritual danger, is our heart ready to accept a caring and truthful warning? (Hebrews 13:17)

Remaining silent is forbidden for the Lord’s watchmen (Ezekiel 3:17-21; 33:7-9).

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Clarence Johnson

Clarence Johnson is a biblical educator, writer, and speaker.

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