What I am learning slowly is that Jesus gets to speak for Himself, and I get to speak for myself. What I need to do when seeking to talk about something difficult is own up to and share my own truth. I need to own the way I see things and speak with words that keep that clear to all. Even though more mature people are far more forgiving of the truth talk, it still is better if I stick to owning my understanding of the Bible or reality and serving it up out of my own journey instead of stamping it all over people as direct from Father God Himself.
I remember when I finally started this journey. It was fantastic. I could say anything at all. I could delve into places of the heart and soul that few pastors—or spouses—dared to go, and all without losing an arm or a leg. I could say what I thought and if it didn’t jive, it was my thoughts alone.
The secret lay in humility and trust. Humility because owning my own perspective kept me from sounding and thinking I was the mouth of Jesus. And trust–because I trusted Jesus to get His own points across while I shared my heart. What I realized is that a truth of Jesus was mine because I owned it. And what was mine couldn’t be yours unless you accepted it and owned it too. I was to share my soul and let it awaken in yours if the time was right.
So no longer was I sharing the truth on things, I was sharing my truth on things. Sure it came from Jesus and the Bible, but what I had to share was how it worked for me and how I understood things. When people are not in agreement with Jesus or His teachings, and they feel like He’s this big authority figure who’s going to punish them for not following His arbitrary rules and regulations. The last thing they need is someone talking down to them with Jesus talk.
Think about how all of us have felt misunderstood and mistreated by people in authority. I think we’ve probably all been burned by the big people in charge who didn’t know love enough to practice it, and how the hurt of that stays with us. We probably coped at the time by playing the passive victim or rebelling off into the sunset. Either way we connected to authority in fear.
I think this is why it’s so nifty to stay away from telling things as the truth and sounding off as an authority. It just makes practical sense. All religious posturing aside, I bet we all struggle with playing the rebel or the victim deep down in our hearts. And I think this has a lot to do with why we should steer clear of the whole handing-down-the-facts kind of posturing. Recovering rebels have a hard, hard time with feeling controlled or dominated.
The saddest part of this whole scenario is that Jesus’ truth has often become something bitter and hard to swallow. Not that it is; it’s more like a smoothie going down. Really it is the people who bark Jesus’ words out that are hard to stomach. Whether acknowledged or not, all this emotional wounding from authority figures can slop around inside the most devoted Christian and bristle up when someone comes in with the truth.
And so I’ve learned. I need to own what I have to say and stand behind it as my very personal way of seeing things. Not only does this side-step all the authority gunk in people, it is actually me being honest. No, I don’t see myself as the last word or even the first word. No, I don’t expect you to get under my views and stay there. Jesus isn’t in my corner and you didn’t have to jump on my bandwagon. We are two people on par with each other and I am seeking to share what I have found to be grand and true.
You’ll be amazed at how willing people are to hear what you have to say if you own it as yours.
Clarrisa Worley Sproul writes from the Pacific Northwest.© 2002 - 2021, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.