SPEAK UP

Complacency is easier than being called to action. It costs nothing immediate and allows us to coast, but are Christians really supposed to be coasting? Are we really called to just stand on the sidelines while our Christian brothers and sisters are in the thick of it? Or even worse, while they are coasting beside us? I’m not referring to coasting here as taking a necessary Sabbath or going through a time that is less demanding than others, both of those seasons are necessary for our health and endurance. But, as difficult as the Christian life can be, sometimes we make it very easy by getting comfortable and never stepping out. Sometimes we get stuck there, hence, the coasting.

CALLED TO ENCOURAGE

I’ll be honest, I sometimes do not like what God requests of me! I don't mind instigating and persuading others into action, but there are times that I just don't like speaking up as He asks me to. I don’t like stepping on toes! I am afraid of the outcome when I face controversy or conflict inside the body of Christ. Often times, I'm just tired and the thought of having a serious conversation is the last thing I want to do, especially if it means getting into something that is likely to become uncomfortable. But even when we may not be in an active role in ministry or serving in the church, we don’t stop being a Christian. We still interact with other believers, and are called to encourage and sharpen each other.

Lately, I have found myself being prodded by the Holy Spirit to step up and have conversations that I really don’t want to have. It would be easier to just say nothing or agree with those that have bad attitudes or jump on the bandwagon with attitudes of my own. But I cannot deny the multifaceted prompting of so many scriptures.

Colossians 3:16, for example, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Not only should we be so saturated in God’s word that it resides in us, we must also speak up with truth to teach and admonish one another, or in conflict, and when we see things that may be concerning or need to be addressed; but we should do all of this humbly, with vast thankfulness and praise. I dislike conflict because it tends to be uncomfortable and can cause division, but what if we spoke up with this confidence and this cheerful attitude? Would it be different?

WE ARE NOT ALONE

Even when it doesn’t feel fun or comfortable, in obedience to God, we should speak up! Television makes this seem so glamorous: it’s always dramatic and terrifying and the outcome is usually that the brave soul who opened their mouth in the face of severe opposition becomes this outrageous hero that changes the world! But being obedient and speaking up for the Lord often means standing alone. And it can personally cost us more than we expect. However, we are not alone, our Helper (the Holy Spirit) is with us. Speaking up and doing what is right is rarely ever easy, but know that if God is calling you to speak up, He will also have your back.

I guess I’m at a point in my life where I am questioning what kind of Christian life I want to lead, especially as I feel God prompting me to step up and speak out in ways that are uncomfortable or might cost me. I don’t want to live a mediocre Christianity, I want to see God move like He did in the Bible. I want to see radical things happen in Jesus’ name! None of this will ever happen if we stay quiet or just accept things as they are. We serve the same God who spoke these words to Joshua and with good reason! Let us also live Christian lives that requires courage!

Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”