Friday, February 26, 2010

Speak. {Part 1}

For most of my childhood, I thought that my voice was either insignificant or incompetent. I grew up as a soft-spoken soul in the midst of a loud family who needed to shout to get their point across. My peers and I, in grade school, held the belief that the people who talked the loudest/most were heard/reverenced more. I was neither. However, my silence gave me maneuvering abilities. I was able to observe without being noticed, and I witnessed many truths and life lessons. I literally learned through the mistakes of others, and that gave me a bit of wisdom that most teenagers did not have. In a way, it made it easier to stay out of trouble, because I was close enough to see where some paths lead. Superiors and mentors in my life began to take notice. And suddenly, I became an "ideal" teenager; with a clean lifestyle and wisdom, conjointly. Through my silence/docile nature, I had finally been given a voice.

Somewhere around my 21st birthday, I became more and more vocal. Confident in spiritual matters because I'd been groomed to be the leader. The fault-less standard of holiness that others could look up to. The one who not only lived above reproach, but made sure she told everyone else how they should straighten up. I became less afraid of speaking up; and caring less about the consequences. It was liberating, truly. Considering that I was forced to keep silent; be seen and never heard, I took most opportunities to open my heart and mouth and use it as a method to teach and educate others.

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. Even so, the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.   --James 3:1,5

 The moment I was given a voice, I also accepted the tendency to be judgmental and haughty. I assumed that I'd been given a gift of oversight to correct others. I was, unknowingly, using a vehicle of condemnation; calling it a gift of teaching. Meanwhile, I myself struggled with correction, and was more condemning to my own heart than anyone else. "This is the way that it has to be, right?" "People won't change unless you give them hard truth and pierce through their emotions!" I think this passage in James says that those who wish to teach must have a clearer sense of grace, empathy, and humility than those they teach. Teachers will be examined more thoroughly, because of the responsibility attached to carry truth to others. If the teachers misuse their role, then people may not receive truth.

Let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger because the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. -- James 1:19-20


  1. Great post.

    Interesting for me to find how you found your voice. Very interesting. Sounds very much like myself and my voice, however out of control it eventually became.

    Why do you feel it is a vehicle of condemnation? The James 1:19-20 verse?

    I feel you.

  2. wow, amazing post! i've felt the same way growing up, still learning to speak up more but i'm coming along.

    btw i love your blog! so glad i found it!