Speak the truth even if your voice shakes

Jesus was a man’s man. He was a man of courage.    I admire Jesus’ willingness to call people out when they are wrong.   I also admire the fact that Jesus doesn’t back down from a challenge. In Luke chapter 13:31-33 there is a story where Jesus’s life being threatened.

Herod Antipas was the ruler of the region of Galilee. This guy had a massive power. Jesus did much of his ministry in the region of Galilee. So the word about Jesus spread all the way to the top. Herod Antipas decided he wanted to get Jesus out of the equation. So he put a “hit” out on Jesus.

Now unless you grew up in a country with an absolute monarch who could kill any man for any reason you probably don’t understand the danger that Jesus was in at this moment.    Any other man that Herod wanted to kill would be dead or would high-tail it out of Herod’s land as quickly as possible.   That’s not how Jesus reacts!

Check out Jesu’ answer when he hears that his life is in danger…. “Go tell that fox…”   Talk about courage- Jesus not only confronts the challenge but he makes it clear he’s not going to back down from the ruler of Galilee.  I have this picture in my mind about Luke 13:33.   The image that comes to my mind is Jesus telling Herod, “If you want to fight; I’ll be in this parking lot at this time.”

Courage to call it like you see it

Jesus people are supposed to share his courage. That means we need to be willing to stand up and tell it like you see it no matter what those consequences might be. I’ve met a lot of Christians who give excuses for not getting involved in the problems of their society. I’ve met a lot of people who just don’t have a problem standing up and speaking out when they see injustice.

If you are a follower of Jesus, I challenge you to show courage by confronting injustice.  The next time you see someone being bullied at school- speak out about it.  The next time you see a boss that is abusing employees by their position- speak to her about it.  If a segment of your city is being taking advantage of- speak out on their behalf.  This is exactly what Jesus did when challenged by Herod and this is how Jesus’ people should face challenges.

Truth and love

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to find the courage to speak out especially when you have a lot to lose.   Do you know what’s even harder? Finding the balance between speaking the truth and saying it with love. This is really tough but this is also what God’s people are commanded to do.

Ephesians 4:15 commands Christians to stand up and speak out when someone is teaching false doctrine.   Having the courage to confront someone who’s teaching half-truths or lies is only part of the challenge from this verse.  The rest of the verse tells us to speak out with love. You don’t have to be ugly when you speak the truth. You can disagree with somebody without being disagreeable. That’s really hard to do.   That’s why we need God’s Holy Spirit to give us the right words at the right time to help us speak the truth with love.

Ready for the consequences

If you are to stand up and speak out, you better be ready for the consequences. This just comes with the territory.   Let’s face it, Herod had the power to kill Jesus. By speaking out against him Jesus was putting his life on the line. There are some hills worth dying for and there are some battles worth fighting.

Sometimes it’s going to cost you personally when you speak out against injustice. Be willing to pay that price. Measure your words, make sure you mean what you say, say it with love but be willing to take the consequences for speaking out.    Our society desperately needs men and women who will stand up and speak out.    Now, as much as ever, our culture needs men and women who will speak the truth in love.  America needs to see people willing to confront injustice even if it costs them personally. The next generation of Americans will then benifit from the sacrifices it costs you to speak the truth to power.

Further reading