Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers. Speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute! Proverbs 31:8-9 (MSG)
Speak Up – Proverb Ponderings – Part 2
One day, as I lined up in a cafe to casually grab some lunch, the man in front of me was berating the girl serving us because they had a ‘change for good’ collection tin for an overseas charity. The funny part of this story is the organization that he was yelling about is one I was a part of. I knew the leaders, I knew where the money went, and I saw the changed lives first hand.
I stood behind him listening to his rant:
“All this organization wants is people’s money, it never goes to the people they promise it to, I can't believe this cafe supports it!”
I had to make a brave choice; either let the young girl tremble under the forced opinion and bullying of an older man. Or speak up.
As soon as he had his sandwich in hand and turned to walk out, I loudly said to him (so the rest of the line could hear):
“Excuse me, sir, I work for the organization you have a problem with. Can we step outside and have a chat? I can answer every question you have and also dispute the lies you have just been sharing.”
I was terrified. I could have stayed anonymous in the line behind the other customers. I could have let that young girl be blindsided bullied by a man her senior.
But I didn’t. I wasn’t aggressive. I wasn’t defensive. I calmly asked if we could chat outside.
And that, we did.
Have you ever been in a situation where someone is speaking badly about someone or something you love?
Have you ever been in a situation where you don’t want to step in, but you know that if you don’t the moment would have passed with injustice?
People of wisdom do hard things: we call the people we have offended; we speak on behalf of those who aren’t present. The Bible implores us to do these things with wisdom.
The only way I had the confidence and courage to approach an angry man, is because I was sure of who I was and what I stood for. A person of wisdom continually seeks confirmation of her identity from the right things and also reaffirms what they stand for.
I believed deeply in the vision and values of the organization that was being slammed, but also, I knew the people personally who this man was criticizing.
You can do hard things, too. I know you can.
What is something that you need to address in this season?
Speak up for those who have no voice, for the rights of those who are being oppressed, and seek strength and wisdom in times of confrontation.
Go to Part 3 – A True Reward »