I was recently faced with a difficult circumstance:
I was among a group of my colleagues, whom I love and respect very much, when a topic came up that I knew went against my conscience and the teachings of my Faith. I'm ashamed to admit how I often detest those situations, rather than choosing to joyfully embrace them!
In the moment, I really didn't have the opportunity to consider my possible responses. But in hindsight I realized that it all boiled down to making one of two choices:
A) Don't share my viewpoint, out of the fear of making others a bit uncomfortable or that I will ultimately be less admired (but feel a little inauthentic doing so);
B) Do share my viewpoint and just let it be, recognizing that my voice is equally important to those of my colleagues and that, in the end, it’s really not about me. It’s about Him.
"We strictly charged you not to speak in this name . . . ."
While we don't have the clear directive from the high priests forbidding us to speak the truth of Jesus in our everyday lives, I think it's fair to say that we do have high levels of cultural expectation that we keep our religious lives private: Heaven forbid we make someone feel uncomfortable by “rocking the boat” and going against the grain of what is the cultural norm.
"Speak the truth in love," a friend once told me, quoting Saint Paul's Letter to the Ephesians. So in that moment, that is what I tried to do. With trembling voice and pounding heart, I shared my views. It wasn't long, or eloquent, or (let's be honest) even very clear. But I did it. What resulted (praise God) was an open and honest discussion that I will never, ever regret having.
I don't share this story in any way to toot my own horn, because I know all too well that for as many times as I can summon the courage to speak the Truth, there are dozens more times when I stand idly by and hope that someone else will do it for me.
So let us encourage authenticity, dear sisters. Where does Truth need to be spoken in your own relationships this Easter season? Have courage to speak, in words or in actions, when Truth demands to be spoken.
Karen Schultz is a Birth Doula who hails from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, where she is often found in or near one of them. You can find out more about her here.