“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7, NASB
Can I share something with you?
I’m timid by nature, but God is growing me in boldness. Within the last few weeks, He’s enabled me to speak into a couple of situations, and I’m thrilled my input helped or at least didn’t cause a major problem.
I’m unsure why I hesitate to speak up. Maybe I’m a people-pleaser, wanting others’ approval. Perhaps I’m afraid of holding a view that offends another. Still yet, it’s possible I just don’t want to get involved in the hassle of sharing my mind.
Despite my innate tendency to stay silent, I’m learning my thoughts matter too. God’s Spirit dwells within me. Sometimes He gives me words to speak. That makes them valuable.
So how can I tell when to open my mouth or keep it closed?
I don’t have a neatly packaged answer. But I will say this: it can be scary to speak out. Or, it can be a form of stress relief. Neither of those reasons should determine whether or not we share. Rather…
- Will my words glorify God by pointing someone His direction?
- Will the thoughts I communicate agree with Biblical principles or dispute them?
- Will my message–brief or lengthy–accurately convey God’s love? (And btw, love is not necessarily what a person wants but what they need.)
- Is the Holy Spirit prompting me to speak?
So, my friend, there you have it: truth I’m learning now that I wish I’d mastered years ago. I pray it’s helpful to you in coming days. If you’re muted by timidity like me, or you wrestle to keep your mouth closed, answering those questions first can provide direction.
God desires us to use every part of our bodies to honor Him. Romans 12:1 reads, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” By allowing the Holy Spirit to control our lips, we can worship Him in more ways than singing. A mouth surrendered to God’s leading contains untold potential to speak into others’ lives. Isn’t that encouraging?