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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “speech”

Silent Watch, Public Praise

Do you believe in angels?  Seriously, do you believe that they exist TODAY?  I do.

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”  The angel answered, “I am Gabriel.  I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and tell you good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you will not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”  —Luke 1:18-20

The year before I enrolled into law school, I attended a summer law program at the University of Richmond.  While there, I met a woman who identified herself as a Dean at another law school.  She told me that if I delayed attending law school by one year, I would receive a full scholarship.

“Really,” I thought.  How could I be sure that this would really happen?  I did not know this lady and she did not know me (or so I thought).  I had only met her that day.  Needless to say, I delayed my plans to attend law school.  After finishing the law program in Virginia, I returned home and got a job at a non-profit organization.  Only one or two family members knew why I was delaying attending law school.  It was not something I talked about, probably because I was skeptical of this good news.  Have you ever received news that seemed so miraculously good and you did not believe it?  Why would we ever struggle like this?  Should not we live knowing that all things are possible through Christ?  Believing impossibilities should not be our obstacle.  THIS should be our expectation!

Rest 

After returning home, I continued to prepare to go to law school while spending time with family.  Being home ended up being a greater blessing in hindsight because one of my grandfathers died during my first year in law school.  (God knew.)

While I was home, I spoke to the Dean only one time.  Interestingly, I had a certain peace about the situation.  Then, several months later it happened.

Immediately his [Zechariah’s] mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God.  The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things.  —Luke 1:64-65

Via mail, I received notification that I had indeed received a full scholarship, inclusive of a stipend, to attend law school.  What a HUGE blessing!  I still praise God for this manifested promise.

A strange thing happened, however.  When I called the home phone number I had used one time prior to thank the Dean, I was told I had the wrong number.  Likewise, when I called the law school where she said she worked I was told there was not, nor had there ever been, anyone who worked there by her name.  I thank God for sending me an angel who delivered His message.  I thank Him for being patient with me as I silently watched His promise manifest.  I thank Him for allowing me that experience to remember regarding other promises He has made.  I thank God that this experience will encourage and bless someone else.  Yes, I am still singing His praises!  People are still in awe!  After all, if He did it for me, He can do it for you!

Talk Too Much

Believe it or not, there are times when I can talk too much.  I have always loved words, though not wordiness.  (I just have a lot to say.) 

One Sunday many years ago, I was addressing a congregation.  Afterwards, the Pastor said, “Now we know who the talker of the family is.”  (Funny how you remember things.)  It seemed like everyone laughed, everyone but me.  My family and others reassured me that I had done well.  Likewise, the Pastor complimented me.  Still, I was confused by his remark although I did not linger long on it.  I knew I said what was on my heart and the people expressed appreciation.  This was symbolic of the season of growth I was in.  At that time, if I had something to say, my belief in its truth would result in a high probability that I would say it and move on without much thought.  Times have changed.

Over the course of my life, I have learned the importance of being discerning in speech.  The more I deepened my personal relationship with God, the more I began to understand that sometimes He will show me things for me to know and not to share, at least not immediately.  YES!  I had to learn to keep my mouth shut until the appointed time.  (LOL.)  That was hard.  I have grown.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.  They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.  (Mark 9:9-10)

Shh

What I learned was to appreciate the blessing of possessing knowledge.  I regularly pray for greater wisdom and increased discernment.  There is a responsibility that comes with these three spiritual gifts.  Many avoid conversations.  That in itself could require a lot of discipline, not to be confused with fear.  For me, the bigger test was learning when not to speak.  The more I worked on controlling my tongue, the more I was able to identify frivolous conversations.  In doing so, discovering the purpose of my conversations became increasingly important.  I gained greater respect for the power of words and for the season for their expressions.

Truthfully, I value when God shows me things.  I am still learning when and how to speak on those things I share.  After all, there is a time for all things…and an audience for everything.  I have not mastered it yet, but I like the growth I see.  Now, when sharing information I try to let the Holy Spirit guide my tongue, not my ego.

Inside Out

Not long ago, a friend told me he admires my diplomacy in speech.  Apparently, he had noticed how I handled a number of situations over a period of time and was impressed.  His compliment was not surprising, however, his observation was unanticipated.  You never know who is watching.  Although not mentioned often, there is an important connection between our words and their connection to our hearts.

“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?  But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.  These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.'”  —Matthew 15:16-20

It is easy to appear clean in a world that seems fascinated by materialism and superficial things.  Bathe the body, put on clean clothes, wear a neat hairstyle, drive a nice car, and don’t forget to smile.  This simple formula will win you a few friends.  If you are charismatic and approachable, you will win a few more.  People will want to be in your presence.

Both near and from afar, people will watch you and they will search, for flaws.  They may or may not tell you what they see, but many will see you for who you really are inside out.  Discerning Christians will know if your inside matches your outward presentation.  Do not be so mesmerized by a person’s outward appearance that you neglect to listen to their words, that you fail to hear their heart, that you neglect knowing them inside out.  Not everyone is entertained by unclean hearts.

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