Have you ever had something you wanted or needed to say and then talked yourself out of it?
You decided no one was going to listen to you, or worse yet, people were going to make fun of you for saying anything at all. Besides, who do you think you are? Well, it’s time we start saying something. But I’m not talking about throwing it out into Social Media land. It’s time we start talking…really talking.
Okay, I’ve done it. I’ve spoken my mind through a tweet or a status and I’ve waited for people to give me their seal of approval. It is satisfying to see that little thumbs up (I feel slightly vulnerable admitting that). But have we taken the time lately to say something that will make a difference? Something that in the long run will really matter? What does it look like? Here are just a few suggestions or jumping off points, if you will. I have to admit, I’m a little nervous about this. Just know it’s not exhaustive.
Here are a few things we really need to say something about:
3 Ways to Say Something that Matters
1. Say Something to God.
And we don’t just need to talk, we need to listen. If I’m thinking too hard about something I know I’m not praying about it enough. All of my thoughts and emotions need to be submitted to Him. It doesn’t matter how I feel about it, if I don’t know how He feels about it. Too many times we get distracted. It’s not that we don’t have time to pray, it’s that it’s easier to do something else. Spending time with God will force us to really examine our own motives in the midst of tough situations. Sometimes we don’t want to take the time to do it because it will force us to make a choice; to change or not to change? What if we made it a practice to just talk to Him? Sometimes we are provoked by HUGE social issues and we think, “What can I possibly do?” You can pray. Never underestimate the power of petitioning the God who created the Universe. He is all powerful, all knowing, and He is everywhere. He is not just contained in your room, your house, your church, or in your head.
James 5:16 says,
When we say something to God and we are willing to listen, it will inevitably lead to us do something for Him.
2. Say Something to Your Spouse.*
We’ve ignored it for too long. If we ignore it, it doesn’t exist, right? The reality of our over-sexualized culture is invading marriages and infiltrating the church. Normal, everyday men and women are being held captive by pornography. Just as many church goers are ingesting this toxic waste as those outside of the church. It is a hard conversation to have, but if you’ve never talked about porn, and the influence it might have on your marriage, then you are living in denial. Some of you reading this might be mad at me. It’s okay. Because if you are married, you need to be talking about this with your spouse. If you are afraid of hurting them and you think you can handle it yourself, don’t worry, if porn has ever been in any part of your life you’ve already hurt them whether they know it or not. And if you don’t want to ask because you’re afraid of the answer, then you’ve just become part of the problem. Please, just say something. When something is said there might be the temptation to retaliate or to defend your actions. Just remember, when we fight with each other, selfishness, in some form or another, is always the root of the issue (James 4:1-4). But love is a different story. Love covers a multitude of sins and love is the starting line for change (1 Peter 4:8).
*Married or not, find someone to talk to. Someone of the same gender. Someone that you trust. Even if you are married, I highly recommend finding an accountability partner. When we confess our sin, it loses its hold on our lives. We aren’t denying its existence, rather, we are confronting sin with the redemptive power of Jesus. James 5:16 (mentioned above) applies so beautifully to this situation, as well.
3. Say Something to Your Peers.
Awkward is the only way I can describe it. I am an awkward duck. When I’m experiencing social discomfort I feel like I’m going to start quacking and crapping everywhere. Let’s say something happened, real or imagined, and you don’t know how to be normal. I don’t know how to be normal. It’s like I can feel it in the back of my throat, that desire to just hide or move on. I always wish that someone would just say something. I’m pretty sure we all have a bias towards cowardice and sometimes we just don’t realize it, myself included. We need to talk about things. There are situations that we create in our own minds that have no bearing on reality, but we end up allowing them to influence our interactions with others. These things usually stem from our own insecurities or short-comings. We all have them. We should just embrace them. We need each other. We need to be there for each other in the truest sense. Genuine friendship is hard to find because it requires both parties to be vulnerable.
Romans 12:9 says,
It is impossible to let our love be genuine when we are concealing how we feel about something we probably don’t even fully understand. Why don’t we just say something?
There are so many other conversations we can have one-on-one that lead to real, genuine relationships with God and others. I’ve only covered a few small facets of what that looks like and hopefully it got your wheels turning. Having “hard” conversations is something I have to work on daily, but I know when I embrace the initial discomfort these conversations might bring, that growth and healing are just around the corner and that is something worth fighting for.