Speak Up!

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Normally, during the month of July I shut off the news and stop paying attention to politics. I teach government as my day job during the school year, and even I get burned out on political news and need a break. (This month is different because I am joining hundreds of others who are working to help Shane Hernandez get elected.) In past summers, though, I have usually gone through some sort of slump asking myself, “Why do I bother posting political comments on social media? Is it worth offending friends and family to speak my mind?”  Every now and then someone who I didn’t even realize was paying attention will say something like, “I really appreciate what you said about this, that or the other thing….” and such comments are the shot in the arm that I need to get back into the mode of doing what I truly feel called by God to do, which is to speak up about Godly principles as they apply to matters of public governance

It would be much easier to say non-controversial things – to not offend some people. But guess what, we can’t serve God and avoid – at some point – saying or doing something that challenges others.  That’s because the Gospel of Jesus Christ challenges sinful human nature – period.  America’s Founding Father’s understood this theological principle clearly, and because of it they hamstrung federal power between three branches of government.

Everything said here must be understood within the context of certain assumptions:  the fact that followers of Christ must study to show ourselves approved to present the Gospel at every opportunity;  we must speak the truth in love;  we are responsible to know our audience (e.g. Paul addressed Jews differently than Greeks, etc.);  we must heed the Spirit’s lead in knowing when to remain silent, when to speak, when to act or to withhold action … ALL THAT IS A GIVEN.  And I know I’ve made mistakes and have had to apologize at times to individuals and/or groups for having been rash, rude, etc.

But know this – and here I am specifically addressing fellow believers – we are called to be salt and light.  When we feel any temptation to ignore the Spirit’s leading to speak, we must shake off that temptation and instead speak up in obedience.  Our nation is in desperate need of miraculous healing.  Anyone who denies that fact is either unrepentant before their Maker or just clueless as to what is happening in America (maybe both?).  So, how can we – in good conscience – remain silent?

“Have you ever considered the number of historical accounts in God’s Word detailing the ways in which God’s people have been used to influence secular governing officials?”

I was reminded today by someone how important it is to speak up, making the most of every opportunity.  Something I posted on Facebook changed that person’s mind, and therefore his action – and his wife’s as well – in a given political matter. 

Elections are a numbers game.  Every vote counts; hence, our efforts COUNT, and in a whole lot more than just elections.  We can influence those around us – friends, family, co-workers, elected (and un-elected) governing officials.

Have you ever considered the number of historical accounts in God’s Word detailing the ways in which God’s people influenced secular governance?  Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Esther, Samuel, Nathaniel, John the Baptist, Paul, Silas, Peter, the list literally goes on and on.  Think about it!

And as for we in America who really do still live in a country governed of, by, and for the people?  We can – and must – make a difference.  We do make a difference.  YOU make a difference!

Therefore, for us who live within a culture that seeks to silence truth, don’t give in to the opposition’s efforts to silence you.  When there is a clear prompting to speak up, do so. We might not always do it perfectly (in fact, we won’t), but as we practice speaking the truth in love, God will show us how to do it better. Walking with Christ is a Learn-As-You-Go experience, and God’s Word is full of historical accounts about those who frequently failed, often felt inadequate, and who sometimes wanted to bow out from the calling.  The recorded history of their failures is as significant as their recorded successes.  That’s because it reminds us that we are no different.  We sometimes feel inadequate, we often fear failure, and we sometimes hope God will send someone else to do the job.  Silence is easier.  It feels safer.  It makes more friends, but God put us here and now for a reason. 

God loves us.  God will guide us when we let Him.  God has prevailed, and will prevail, over all evil.  He chooses us to help him accomplish His purpose.  So, do it – Speak Up!

Tim Keller
About Tim Keller

Tim Keller has taught American History, World History, government, writing, speech and related courses at both the high school and college level since 1997.

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