Friday, October 10, 2008

Speaking Up: SOAP No. 6

SCRIPTURE: Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, but Eli called him and said, "Samuel, my son." Samuel answered, "Here I am." "What was it he said to you?" Eli asked. "Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you." – 1 Samuel 3:15-17

OBSERVATION: God had just called Samuel during the middle of the night and told him that He would render judgment on Eli’s family. Samuel did not want to tell Eli what the Lord told him.

APPLICATION: Oh my goodness, does this ever apply to me! I wouldn’t say that I am a peacemaker by any means, but I do not enjoy conflict. I will do pretty much anything to avoid it – but, as Christians, I think it’s unavoidable.

Not to say that I won’t speak up on my hot topics that I am very passionate about, but most of the time, I feel that I don’t say enough. I feel that I’m not knowledgeable enough to argue with politics or that I’m going to say something wrong or – heaven forbid! – offend someone.

I’ve heard all my life that Christians will offend non-Christians, but it’s really hard to offend a friend. Or it is for me.

Don’t get me wrong. I feel that iron sharpens iron and that, as Christians, we should build each other up and assist each other in trials or temptations. But I’m such a pacifist that sometimes I feel I let things go when they shouldn’t be.

PRAYER: Lord, teach me to speak up better. You know how blunt I can be, but let me be kind – yet blunt – when it comes to things that truly matter. Even if my faith or beliefs offend someone, I should not stay quiet (and You, naturally, know what situation I’m referring to). Teach me to be gentle and kind but a witness for You as well.


Rachel said...

Don't beat yourself up too much. As a Christian living for Jesus, you can't help but offend some people sometimes. Heb 13:13 tells us, "Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore" (talking about how Jesus was a disgrace to others as He hung on the cross). The cross is offensive because it confronts people with their sin. There's no getting around that. Jesus encouraged the disciples to remember that it was Him people rejected and not them. So stand firm for Him and let the Holy Spirit do Its job, and you will bear His disgrace with dignity.

MInTheGap said...

It's hard, isn't it? There's some external force (it feels like) that keeps you from saying something that you want to say.

It's almost part of the mask that we wear-- the mask that looks different depending on who we're with and what company we're keeping.

We're scared of people seeing who we truly are, and that makes it difficult to actually be who we say we are.

As you prayed, may the Lord help us to say what we know in love such that we can minister to others effectively.

ihavetobelieve said...

oh, I know exactly what you mean. I have such strong feelings about something, sometimes, but all I manage to get out of my mouth is "mmm hmmmm." I have a good friend who is bold (sometimes to a fault!), but I admire her truth telling ability one-on-one. I can do it on a mic in front of a hundred women, but face to face is very difficult to me with people that I know and love. This is a good thing to pray about! Thanks for the reminder!

I'm a Believer!

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