Thursday, August 7, 2008

On Speaking the Truth

I'm giving a lesson in church this Sunday that has me contemplating truth and the importance of sharing it. As a rule, I quite enjoy speaking my truth; in fact, this tendency has landed me in trouble more than a few times. I remember in particular a high school English teacher who once observed with a certain lack of appreciation that I had a serious "need to be heard." She was right, of course. (Case in point: this blog!)

At any rate, this need of mine has manifested itself in many ways, some more outrageous than advantageous, but I've gotten better in my old age at not going over the top. Generally speaking, if I think it needs to be said, I'll say anyone and everyone, regardless of venue. If it needs to be written, I'll write an individual, a company, a congressman, a senator, a newspaper, whatever. Speaking up for a worthy person or cause appeals to me; giving up (on either one) does not. I share my thoughts and opinions at the drop of a hat, journal for posterity, and pen books/poems/articles for publication. In short, I like having an audience. I like using my words to share my feelings. I just like it.

Which brings me to the question that's been niggling at me since I began preparing Sunday's lesson. Why does this knee-jerk "need to be heard" of mine go missing when it comes to sharing the gospel, one-on-one, with people I don't know? What am I so afraid of? Just give me half a chance to air political views or parenting tips, and I'm all over it. Why is it I'm able to begin any conversation but the most important one?

I don't have all the answers yet, but I'm clear on one thing. The Lord's children need to hear Him. Consequently, He has a need to be heard, just as I do. Unlike mine, however, His need is entirely selfless. It's all about their comfort and well-being, not His. 

Sharing the gospel without fear means forgetting about me and focusing on those around me. It also means turning to Him with increased faith and consecrating my own voice to His work. If I am willing, my all-too-human need to be heard can be enlisted in the service of His divine one. With the help of the Spirit, I can learn to speak His truth at any time, in any place, and to any person. 

Anyway, that's the idea. Now all I need to do is execute it. Next?  =/

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