I wish that I had more faith and confidence in God's word, especially when it comes to speaking the truth. I wish I would remember God's words to Saint Paul today to not be afraid to speak the truth, but so many times I've failed.
I still vividly remember occasions in high school when I was silent during conversations where others were derided and made fun of for their faith in Christ, yet I stayed silent. After all this time, that occasion still stings my heart. I was afraid of what others would think. Even though I knew the truth, I wouldn't speak it. I was silent.
Unlike Saint Paul, I'm not in danger of being imprisoned or stoned. If I had spoken the truth back in high school, it probably would have cost me nothing, my fears largely unfounded. But I still feel that pain today of not having had the courage to speak truth in that situation, and in many situations since.
In 2017 I have opportunities to speak the truth in many different situations, most of which I have no reason to be afraid. But I admit that oftentimes in heated situations with friends, relatives, or acquaintances online or off I feel that fear to speak at all, even though I don't face the consequences of Saint Paul. If I speak the truth of God's word regarding hot button topics or important moral issues such as abortion, birth control, sacramental marriage, the dignity of being created male and female I'll possibly be scoffed at, maybe made fun of, and most cutting in today's society: be considered intolerant and uncool.
But today's words of God spoken to Saint Paul are being spoken to us right now, in 2017. Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent for I am with you. God is with you and me, speaking these words to us right now. He is giving us the confidence to act on faith, to speak His truth to our world today.
And yes, speaking and proclaiming the Truth with how we live our lives does not guarantee us an easy life. Jesus' words that we will weep in this world are to be taken no less lightly than God's promise to be always with us. We may weep, we may be persecuted, we may be laughed at and scorned, but God will still be with us. Our hearts will rejoice, and no one on earth will be able to take that away from us. That is the faith we live, that is the hope we live.
What truth am I afraid to proclaim in my life? Do I fear repercussions, do I fear having to change my own ways of thinking or acting? Remember that today God is calling us to not be afraid and to speak truth through faith in Him.
Christy Isinger is the mom to five lovely, loud children living in the Canadian wilds. You can find out more about her here.