Speaking my mind is not a gift I possess.
Oh, I’m not saying there aren’t a whole lot of conversations going on in there, but for the most part, I keep all those thoughts locked up tight.
Too afraid of offending someone.
Too afraid of not being liked.
Too afraid of not knowing what I’m talking about.
Too afraid of being wrong.
And besides, my track record isn’t very good.
I spoke my mind.
It was in my third year of teaching.
And it didn’t go well.
In my defense, I didn’t start it.
And it most certainly is not my fault that some people just don’t have a sense of humor.
(Note to self…always know your audience.)
This is probably why I have so much admiration and respect for those who do speak their mind, and live their truth, and do it well.
I’ve witnessed this several times lately.
Gave me hope.
I witnessed someone sacrifice their livelihood to do what was right.
I witnessed someone take responsibility for their actions and not point their finger at someone else.
I witnessed someone offer forgiveness.
I’ve been thinking about these people a lot, because, I know…
it’s so much easier to complain behind closed doors.
Or follow the status quo.
Or allow inappropriate actions and behaviors to get swept under the rug.
Or hold onto hate.
It takes an awful lot of courage to stand up for others.
It takes a lot of courage to hold people accountable.
And it takes a lot of courage to forgive others.
The Bible says an awful lot about forgiveness.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.Colossians 3:13
I think sometimes we lose sight of the fact that forgiveness does not mean absolving a person of their wrong doing. It doesn’t mean you condone their actions.
The Bible also says a lot about accountability.
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained a brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church…Matthew 18:15-17
And it says a lot about responsibility.
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.James 4:17
As a society, I don’t think we are doing particularly well with any of these.
Our values and morals are contradictory. We ignore, justify, or defend actions and behaviors of some, but crucify others for the same offenses.
We rely on sources of information that make us feel good, instead of seeking the truth…
not wanting our thinking to be challenged.
not willing to reflect on our own bias.
So thank you.
Thank you to those who take responsibility for seeking the truth, even when it’s inconvenient and uncomfortable.
Thank you to those who aren’t afraid to hold others accountable, even when it comes at a cost.
And thank you to those who offer true forgiveness, even when the world wants you to take sides and hold onto hate.