We’re told in Ecclesiastes that there is a time to speak and a time to be silent (Ecclesiastes 3:7). There are indeed times when we learn that our best contribution to a conversation is to keep quiet, but we must never allow fear to gag the truth when we know we must speak.
The Right Fit
David certainly faced opposition even as he valiantly chose to do what no one else, including the king, was willing to do – face the giant in a showdown to the death. Not surprising, but disappointing nonetheless, the courageous shepherd got little support … His own brother apparently misinterpreted David’s motive as ego rather than the conviction to stand up for his faith. Eliab basically accused David of being just like Goliath – boastful and arrogant (1 Samuel 17:28).
When you use your voice to speak out, there will always be others who misinterpret your motives. Communicators with conviction will always make some people uncomfortable and angry. When you know you are doing what God compels you to do, when you know the truth of what motivates you, then you must not be deterred by your detractors.
David, however, would not be stopped from communicating in both word and deed his faith-fueled fearlessness. He explained to Saul that he had killed lions and bears while protecting his sheep and believed that God would empower him to slay Goliath just as easily. In David’s thinking, his past conquests required the same level of courage, determination, and skill.
Resigning himself to what he perceived as the young man’s naïve determination, King Saul then tried to equip David with his own royal armor and sword. He not only offered his sword, helmet, and armor to the young man, but Saul actually dressed David in his own tunic (1 Samuel 17:38). Such an action by the king was bold as well as humbling.
Many times when you speak up and display leadership in the face of adversity, others will try to compel you to use their platforms and microphones. While you should weigh the benefits of accepting the mic someone else lends you, you should also be unafraid to politely decline.
Saul made an astounding gesture, but the young shepherd did something almost as courageous as facing Goliath – David declined the king’s gift. This was not the politically correct, socially expedient response to the king!
But David knew this was not the time to be thinking about social etiquette and political correctness because the threat posed by Goliath loomed over all of them. Such a dangerous obstacle eclipsed any hurt feelings or royal breach of protocol Saul might have experienced.
When you have a God-given message to deliver, it may require you to risk stepping on a few toes, declining what others offer, disappointing them, and potentially hurting their feelings and losing their support. You certainly don’t want to rush in and leave collateral damage in the wake of your communication unnecessarily, but at the same time you must not allow fear of what others may think to stifle your voice or censor your message.
Like David, use what you know and sling your message!
And let your words land where they land.
Excerpted from Drop the Mic by T.D. Jakes, ©2021 TDJ Enterprises, Faithwords, Hachette Book Group. Reprinted by permission.
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