“Never Complain, Never Explain”

This phrase is a public relations strategy that has become particularly associated with the British Royal Family. 

Wikipedia states that “The phrase is believed to have originated with the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Benjamin Disraeli. The surgeon and writer Robert Tuttle Morris wrote in his 1915 book Doctors vs. Folks that ‘It is well to follow the rule to “Never complain, never explain.” A man is judged by his character as a whole – not by individual acts.’   The motto became particularly associated with Queen Elizabeth II and was perceived as crucial to the success of her long reign.”

In the UK, as in many countries in the western world, there has been a certain level of free speech allowed although with the advent of political correctness and wokeness, this has been considerably eroded in recent years.  Nevertheless, criticism of the British Royal Family has been permitted unlike the situation in a number of other regimes where any criticism of their royalty or political leaders is simply not tolerated and any infraction can lead to arrest, and even imprisonment.   

In spite of Queen Elizabeth II having an impeccable reputation for her diplomacy and the way she conducted herself in over 70 years as a monarch, there have been those who would want to replace the Royal Family with yet another set of politicians. Such views can be said and written about in the UK without fear of any legal action although such views seem to be held by a small minority. 

For many decades, she was a figure of national pride and a symbol of stability and continuity who was respected around the world.  With the conduct of some of her family before her death in 2022, she must have been grieved with what she saw and heard and yet no one would have known. It can be so easy to become embroiled in argument and debate, and the Royal Family has not been an exception to that in recent years.

The Bible tells us that Solomon was the wisest person who ever lived (except, as we know, Jesus Christ): “So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom” (1 Kings 10:23); and “…men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon (1 Kings 4:34). No human being other than Christ has surpassed him since then.

Those of us who have been called at this time can learn from biblical examples, and those who set high standards in public life, like the late Queen who, being a God-fearing woman, implemented standards expected of someone in her position.   And the result was, that as the reigning monarch in the UK for over 70 years, no one could ever point an accusing finger in her direction about her life style and behaviour.  She put up and shut up and she never complained and never explained if adverse publicity arose about the Royal Family.   Had she done so, she could have been embroiled in unseemly conduct but her behaviour was impeccable.  She chose her approach early in her reign and stuck steadfastly with that until her death in 2022.

We know that Jesus Christ didn’t argue and debate when He was accused in His last hours before His crucifixion.   He knew, more than any mortal being, that it was neither the time nor the place to do so and that it was foreordained that He was to die for the sins of mankind.   And that was the best example of all!

Solomon gave some brilliant advice as recorded in the Word of God.  I’m sure that the late Queen would have been very familiar with his advice.  Let us look at a few of these wise admonitions:

Proverbs 26:4-5: “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.”

Proverbs 15:1-2: “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.”  (Also see verses 7, 23, 28)

Ecclesiastes 3:7: “[There is a] time to keep silence, And a time to speak.”

Ecclesiastes 5:2: “Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.”

These golden nuggets of information, and there are many more along the same lines, are there to enable us to live a life pleasing in the sight of God.   Like the Queen, we must choose our approach, and the Bible is there to guide us in this matter.

In Matthew 5:16, we see the instruction of Jesus: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

When we, as true Christians, let our light shine, we set the best example of God’s Way of Life which is not seen when we unnecessarily argue and debate with others.

Let us behave as Proverbs 25:11 instructs: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.”

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