I've been pondering this one word ~choose~ this week from an aspect of choosing to speak or not speak. I've been confronted lately by the truth that either way (to speak or not speak), I am making a choice. And either way, there are consequences to my choosing.
My current life circumstances, and a person I love dearly have forced me into this very decision. Out of genuine love, I have chosen to risk speaking the truth in love. However, fear has nagged and tempted me to choose silence instead. In my weakest moments of temptation though, as I have cried out to the Lord for wisdom, memories of times gone by have surfaced to strengthen and embolden me.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9-10 NIV
Two specific memories have played often through my mind as I have reflected on my choice. One time a person loved me so much he was willing to confront me with the truth of my sinful and destructive behavior. At that time in my young life, many friends and family members chose to turn a blind eye. However, the one who rejected the temptation to mind his own business, most likely saved my life.
For my dad's boldness, I am eternally grateful.
I wish I could tell you that I received well the truth spoken by my dad in love. I did not. I pitched many a fit and tried to manipulate my mom to overrule my dad in his decisive steps to keep me from destruction. However, even as I was acting out, my heart on the inside was melting from his act of love. In time, I confessed my wrong and thanked my parents for their boldness.
The other scenario involves a friend who chose to stay silent. In no way was this a life and death situation as was the former. It is actually quite a funny story now. Rather costly on my part, but still the lesson has been highly valuable in my decision-making since that time.
(I hope my friend will not be offended as I relate this story. Even more valuable than the lesson is this friend. She is so dear to my heart, and a good sport. So this story is recounted with absolutely no malice.)
One evening driving home from a meeting, I was pulled over by a policeman. As I rounded a corner I saw the blue lights behind me. Greatly perplexed, I pulled into a bank parking lot. My good friend was with me in the passenger seat so I wondered out loud what could be the reason for being pulled over. She was silent.
From my perspective, as the driver, I had done everything right. We were at a stop light of a major intersection. I stopped. I looked in all directions. I waited and then looked again to the right and left and ahead. Since there were no cars on the road in any direction, I pulled around the corner to the right. And then... blue lights...
I gave the police officer my license and he went back to his car. It was then my friend spoke up. She told me there was a sign before the intersection indicating "No Right Turns on Red". She thought I knew. She didn't want to be a backseat driver. She figured I saw the sign and chose to turn right anyway.
My friend stayed silent even as I broke the law.
Because I was chatting away with my friend, I never saw the sign. Nor did I see the police officer in the car parked next to the sign. Since I'm pretty much of a rule follower (as far as I know the rules) had I seen the sign I would not have turned right on red.
I confess I was fairly frustrated with my friend for staying silent. It seems I even said, "Why didn't you say something?" If I didn't say it, I was surely thinking about it. As I paid the fine and once again felt the pang of wishful thinking, I also recognized that I was the one driving. I was fully responsible to pay attention to the signs in front of me.
I'm not saying we always have the responsibility to speak up. Sometimes I feel frustrated with second thoughts on a situation and lament to my husband, "I should have said..." He always asks me the same question, "Did Holy Spirit prompt you to say something in that moment?" If the answer is no, he tells me to let it go. If the answer is yes, then perhaps I was disobedient. Confession is appropriate and again there's a lesson learned.
Perhaps, my friend was not prompted to speak up at the moment. The point of this pondering is not to lay blame. These pondering thoughts do not have the aim of declaring what anyone did right or wrong. Simply the point of my pondering choose is to come to the conclusion that choosing to speak up or choosing to stay silent are both choices. Furthermore all of our choices have consequences for the positive and negative.
What I know is that the entire scenario has proven far more valuable than the price of the ticket. Believe me, if I am a passenger in your car I'm probably going to point out any signs I see that might get you into trouble. And if I am involved in your life then just know I care about you. Because I care about you, please be advised I am probably going to speak the truth in love.
I've done it enough times now to know that truth in love is not always well received at the moment. However, because I love you, I'm probably not going to mind my own business. Rather I'm probably going to risk the consequences and speak the truth in love.
And if you love me, you have my permission... speak truth to me. Be nice. Do it with love, but please don't keep the truth to yourself. The consequences are worth it!
~ Meet Lisa Brittain ~
Hi. I'm so glad you stopped by. My name is Lisa and I am the founder of this website. My ministry is called Eyes on Jesus and Shine which comes from Psalm 34:5
My desire is to help others run toward Jesus and not away. I want to walk with you and introduce you to Him. I'll leave you two alone so you can find out for yourself; Who He is and who you are as you become adopted into God's family.
I love to walk through life with friends who help me keep my eyes on Jesus, and then I get to help them too when they forget. My hope is to live the overflow of my walk with Jesus so that His love shines bright through me and becomes a contagious joy for everyone I meet for the rest of my days on earth.