What to Say and How to Say It (Luke 12:11-12)
By: Jennifer Waddle
How many times do you have conversations with people in your mind, and come up with what you think is the perfect answer?
I do this too, but often, it’s from a place of self-righteousness or wanting to state my opinion rather than share the truth in love.
When Jesus warned his disciples of the hypocrisy that would infiltrate their faith, He also warned that they would be brought before authorities to be questioned. He said, “Whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” (Luke 12:8-9)
The commission was clear to His disciples and is clear to us as well: Don’t be afraid to testify that you are Jesus’ followers, but let Him lead in what you say and how you say it.
Having said that, many of us worry about how to share our faith with people. Especially in a hostile world, where much of what we say is criticized, how are we to speak the truth in love?
So often, we have an agenda when we communicate with others—especially on social media. We think:
I’ll point out how wrong they are.
I’ll put them in their place.
I’ll be bold and state my opinion.
However, these responses are fleshly words with fleshly intent and rarely bring about the change we desire. Instead, they stir up more hate and discontent, more controversy, and more unhealthy interactions.
Remember, Jesus repeatedly told His followers not to worry. Not only were they not to worry about their lives, they were not to worry about their words. He assured them that when they were brought before authorities and questioned, His Spirit would give them the words to speak.
We can trust that at the right time and in the right way, the Holy Spirit will tell us what to say and how to say it. The key for us is to pray for wisdom, wait on Him, and be obedient in what He tells us to do.
My friends, be encouraged today and rely fully on the Holy Spirit to give you the words to speak. With every engagement, every post, every reply, and every answer ask God to give you love, wisdom, and patience.
Don’t worry about how to answer others. Be discerning, yes, and watch out for hypocrisy that threatens to derail your faith. But look to the Holy Spirit for the right answer at the right time. He will always lead you in the way you should go!
Jennifer Waddle is the author of several books including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post—Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, her favorite place on earth.
Do you love podcasts? In The Bible Never Said That, we unpack some of the most popular "spiritual statements" that have made their way into popular culture and the church, even though they are not theologically sound. Together, we'll hold them up to the Bible to see what God's Word really has to say to us.