With All Boldness
It all started with an answer to prayer. . . . and grant to Your servants, that with all boldness they may speak Your word. [i] Boldness came, all right, but it didn’t look and feel as glorious as I’d imagined. When I spoke the truth of The Gospel, shared my strong convictions when something didn’t line up with it, I offended. With that came rejection. It’s happened now on more than one occasion, so I’m bracing for what appears to be the new norm.
For those of us with a history of rejection, this new norm can open up the painful world of self-analyzing and second guessing our motives and the timing of our words. “Why did I say it like that? If only I would’ve waited till . . .” Condemnation chips in and keeps us rehearsing irretrievable words that have already soaked into the ground of someone else’s heart.
I never dreamed there were so many different ways to say something until I was well into my writing journey. My choice of words, the placement of sentences in a paragraph, can affect and even change what I’m trying to say. If I’m not careful with all my persnickety slicing and dicing of words and sentences I can end up losing my point. Out of sheer exasperation, I’ll toss out the whole mishmash. Who benefits then? In the same way, such critical assessing of our words and questioning of our motives when sharing The Gospel can convince us to back off. Next thing we know, those demonic and self-imposed gag orders God is so graciously lifting off of us are reinstated. We’re back to being mute. I can’t bear the thought.
. . . that with all boldness they may speak Your word
Boldness is what the Church has longed for. It’s what we’ve been asking for. To be a voice in these last days is why we are here. Just think . . . we who in times past shunned The Gospel message, have now been entrusted with it. [ii] Our tongue—that unruly member the Bible calls a fire, a world of iniquity . . . that defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature—is the very instrument God cleanses and uses to preach it. [iii] What a phenomenal turning of the tide! What an honor!
We indeed need to choose our words wisely, mix them with much grace. [iv] But slicing and dicing God’s Word to avoid offense and disapproval from others is downright terrifying. [v] With Christ’s return just over these next few hills, can we afford to let the fear of man prevail over the fear of God? Who exactly are we wanting to please? Who would we rather offend? We point the way to freedom through Christ. [vi] Some prefer bondage. [vii] We are the light of the world. [viii] Some love darkness. [ix] We are the fragrance of Christ. Some think we stink. [x] “People’s opinion of you is none of your business,” says Steve Harvey. God’s opinion of us is everything.
Lord, help us settle in our hearts to stay true to Your Gospel message and not let the enemy muzzle us ever again.
[i] Acts 4:29 [ii] 1 Thessalonians 2:4 [iii] James 3:6; Isaiah 6:6--8 [iv] Proverbs 16:23; Colossians 4:6 [v] Revelation 22:19 [vi] Luke 4:17–21 [vii] Psalm 2:1–3 [viii] Matthew 5:14–16 [ix] John 3:19 [x] 2 Corinthians 2:15–17