February 23, 2015

Speak Your Truth

Can you imagine what it was like hearing Jesus' message through his disciples in first century Palestine? The twelve have been hanging out with Jesus for a while. But they're illiterate. Uneducated. Yet Jesus entrusts them to go out and share his message.

If you read the Gospels, you can see how often they missed the point–how often they misunderstood what Jesus was up to.

"The Kingdom of heaven is like a ... Wait. John, what did he say that kingdom-thing was like again?"

"Blessed are the ... was it the poor or rich in spirit, Peter?"

"Um, James, I did that thing that Jesus did that one time ... but dude's still blind ... and pissed off!"

You know this kind of thing had to have happened. Still Jesus sends them out to share with others the truth of his message.

There's this phrase, often spoken as advice, that goes something like, "Speak your truth." It's a very postmodern phrase that can imply several things. It may be a denouncement of any kind of universal truth. It may also be affirmation of one's personal experience as valid and meaningful. But what if this phrase implies that we all hold a piece of what is universally known as truth? I still believe there are universal truths. But there are also "universal deceits" as George Orwell once said:

"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

We need you to find your voice. Your qualifications don't matter.

On a recent episode of Sideshow–a Studio 360 podcast, host Sean Rameswaram interviewed author Cheryl Strayed. At one point in their conversation, Strayed says something like, "When you're telling the truth, you're speaking with a universal voice."

You may be wrong sometimes. You'll make mistakes. That's okay. It doesn't invalidate your experience. You're still trying to find where your experience and the rhythm of God's dream for the world line up. You'll only find it by trying. With practice.

Orwell was right. Lies are daily told about how to survive in this world. The truth is, there's another way to be human. You know part of the answer. Speak up.

For Christian leaders, I think we miss the point of following Jesus when we refuse to give away leadership to the unqualified. Jesus gave leadership to the unqualified. All the time. The disciples were incredibly unqualified. Yet, Jesus trusts them. He gave them a voice. He validated them.

Who do you need to empower?

Who has a truth–an experience–that needs to be heard?

Will anyone else hear it unless you give them a chance?

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