A time to speak: 10 Reasons to speak up…

Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 in Blog | 1 comment

The last post looked at 10 reasons why silence is golden. But there is a flipside. The writer of Ecclesiastes 3 is right. There is a time for everything under heaven… and that includes both a time for silence and a time to speak up. Here are 10 signs that it is the time to speak…

1) While we should be still and know that God is God, when that truth dawns on us, we should not be slow to sing out His praise. Just as there is a place for quiet contemplative worship, there is also a place for joyous, rowdy, exuberant praise. The Psalmist writes, ‘Sing out my soul the glory of the Lord…’ There is a time not to hold back.

2) We should speak out for those who have no voice, or whose voice is routinely ignored. We should be intentional about this. Ironically, when we are quietly observant we are more likely to notice those whose voices are quashed. And then we can very deliberately use our voice on their behalf.

3) We should speak when we have something to say, and should be unafraid to speak up, even when our voice is unwelcome.

4) The Bible has three pre-requisites for speech. It should be truthful, it should be loving (speaking the truth in love) and it should be at the right time (a word in season, how good it is). If one of those three are missing, we might need to remain quiet until they all line up. But when they are aligned, our words can be powerful and might even be transforming.

5) Speaking is the simplest way to reach out to another person. A friendly greeting, an empathetic comment, or an expression of interest in someone else’s world, can open doors of friendship.

6) Refusing to speak to someone can be an act of enormous cruelty, especially if you are joining with others to exclude some unfavored person. Breaking the silence and including the other can be lifesaving.

7) Carefully chosen words can heal, encourage, motivate and inspire.

8) God speaks the world into being. The Genesis 1 refrain is: and God said, let there be… and it was so. It is not accidental that in John 1 Jesus is called ‘The word…’ ‘In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.’ While as fallen image bearers our words will never have the same power as God’s, in their own way they have the potential to bring new worlds into being. New possibilities emerge when we express basic ideas in words, and find that others are willing to engage with our ideas, and push them towards fruition.

9) Sometimes we should speak in another language. While we may feel foolish and express ourselves unfortunately, making the effort loudly states, ‘I value you, and am trying to enter into your world.’

10) We should speak a word for Jesus. In our secular age we have often convinced each other that it is better to remain silent. We must remember that while God speaks through the two books – the book of Scripture and the book of nature – He also wants to speak through you and me. True, we should win the right to speak through a credible and compassionate lifestyle, but having won it, we should speak.

I guess I could have said much more. I also wanted to say something about speaking in the context of marriage and family life, but perhaps that can wait for another post.

Nice chatting. And as always, feel free to take the conversation a little further in the comments.

One Comment

  1. Speaking up can separate you from others but not your conscience

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