On my way out to Cali in the Spring I shared my faith with the guy I sat next to and prayed for my Uber driver. When I met up with some of my friends I told one of them about it and he said this to me “You would!” Now there’s nothing wrong with what he said, in fact I found it rather encouraging. But here’s the reality, I wouldn’t. Even as a Christ follower, before then I rarely shared my faith. Not even starting the conversation. You stay in your seat and I’ll stay in mine. Because you sat next to me, by osmosis my faith will rub off on you in my silence. Yeah, that’s not prideful at all! My flesh was still alive and breathing the air my spirit was supposed to be. If not for Christ I would not have done these things, I would’ve stayed silent. My spirit would suffocate while my flesh breathed the still silent air. But I did. I let the Spirit breath in these instances, then my spirit came to life. Possibly changing the direction of these men’s lives even by a fraction.
Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. James 3:1-5 (NLT)
Many would say that taming the tongue is simply the control to not let bad things pour out from it. That is simply the beginning. If we can control our tongue we can control our whole body, if we can train the speech of the church we can get it to move in the right direction. Training is not simply the control of what doesn’t come out, but also of what does come out. Have you ever been in a situation where you know you should say something but you lack the confidence to say it? You have to give value to everything you say. If the value of what you have to say outweighs the weight of silence, then you must say it. The weight of your silence will begin to bear down on you if you don’t. We might have fallen silent for a while, but God is raising the Spirit in us to say something. We’ve grown tired of what is being said over us as well as what is not being said. We have something to say about it. We will be silent no more. Our voice has to be heard. We have to speak out what God has for our generation.
But Moses pleaded with the LORD, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Then the LORD asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD?Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” Exodus 4:10-12 (NLT)
He will put the words in your mouth. Your voice will not be quiet or weak but strong and resounding. How often do we experience God, but don’t have the confidence to share that with someone else? He can put the words in us, but it is up to us to give it a voice. We all have a story to tell, that which our Father has put in each of us. So often we miss the chance for God to move simply because we don’t open our mouths for Him to speak through. You don’t believe that you have anything to offer, when all that is being asked for is your voice. The strongest voice in our generation is not the guys that are most quoted. The strongest voice in our generation is yours. Your voice will carry where no quote can go. Hearts will never be penetrated by quotes. Especially not in the way a word from a friend can penetrate your heart. Be a voice to your friends, you likely are exactly what they need to hear. We will be known not by what we say to the multitude but in how we speak to each other. Your voice can lead someone out of Egypt. Can we change a generation by changing our speech? If we can change the direction of the tongue we can change the direction of a generation.