Weekly Devotionals

September 12, 2020

 

You have a voice Use it 

A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford

 

 

King George VI stammered all his life. When he unexpectedly became king, his stammer only worsened. His friend and mentor, Logue, worked with him for months to help him overcome it. But at a practice in the Abbey for his coronation, the king began to stammer and grope frantically for words. Finally in frustration the king spewed out the words, "I have a voice! I have a right to be heard!"


And his speech coach, Logue, having acchieved what he'd been working toward for months, answered him quietly, "Yes, you do. Now use it."

 

How many people in this desperate time of conflict and misunderstanding feel the same kind of frustration because they cannot make their voices heard over the bedlam of noise! Have you felt no one listens, even when you try to speak?

 

You do have a voice. And you have a right to be heard. This broken world desperately needs to hear strong, sane, healing words offered by thoughtful people to mend the jagged edges of our disagreements. But that can't be done simply by angry marches and screaming hateful epithets across a police tape.


When you see how great the need is, you may feel helpless to do anything worthwhile. The prophet Jeremiah, in Bible times, tells the charming story of his own feelings of inadequacy when God gave him a message to a country in grave crisis.

 

"Ah, Sovereign LORD," I [Jeremiah] said,
"I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."
But the LORD said to me,
"Do not say, I am only a child.
You must go to everyone I send you to
and say whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,"
declares the LORD.
Then the LORD reached out His hand and touched my mouth and said to me,
"Now, I have put my words in your mouth." Jerimiah 1:6-9

 

I believe God gave you a voice so you could speak up for what is right. He needs your thoughtful, compassionate, healing voice to offset the shrill cries of hateful people. Proverbs 31:8 tells us to "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."

 


You can't speak with good effect unless you've listened well. And you cannot be effective without spending time and thought on what you ought to say. Can you find common ground with those who need your message? Is your argument built only on emotion, or is it also fair and reasonable? Does your position take into the account the rights and needs of others? Is what you advocate "doable"? Or does it depend on making other people do what they can't or won't do? Does it focus on the truly eternally important issues of life?


You have a voice. Your voice is needed more than ever in this difficult time in our country. You have a right to be heard. Find out how God wants you to say it, then speak up!