Just recently I was sitting in a very uncomfortable conversation with some people from my university class about several things I did not agree with.
Everything inside me stirred, and I could feel myself riling in anger and overwhelmed with frustration over what was being said.
I was appalled at the things they had to say, and the nerve they had to bag out Christianity and God right in front of me. Everything I was passionate about, they threw around like it meant nothing—and clearly that was the case.
I had sat there for a while trying to calm myself down, praying to God in my head, but every time I got remotely close to calming down, they decided to continue in their little escapade of rapid hostility towards the topics.
As I opened my mouth to say something, I remembered the Bible verse in Matthew chapter 10, verses 19-20, ‘But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.’
I have been through plenty of situations while being at Uni that have challenged me greatly. Each time God teaches me something different. I have learnt to stand up for my faith even when I am persecuted for it. I have learnt to take control of my beliefs and deflect the evil that tries to tear me down. I have also learnt to pray for my enemies, even when all seems lost and they become unbearable.
One thing that has been a prolonged lesson is the right timing. I have come to realise that God’s timing is always perfect and if he wants his children to speak up, he will allow us to at the right time by prompting our hearts.
The Bible talks about how God will speak through you and give you the right words to say at the right time. In this we can have peace knowing that our words spoken in instances like mine will never be put to waste.
In my case however, I was not ready to speak to them. I knew I held anger inside me towards what they were saying, and I sat in disbelief at the evil they spoke so passionately. It hurt me to my very core, and I could feel a rage lifting to my lips ready to be let loose.
James chapter 1, verses 19-20 says ‘My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.’
God held my tongue, and despite my anger and frustration towards the conversation, I didn’t say anything for the very reason that, sometimes it is better to not say anything than to make an enemy of yourself.
Luke chapter 11, verses 11-12 says, “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
I am passionate about speaking up when conversations like this arise. But, I love how God knew that this was not the right time for me to say what was boiling up inside me. He knew I had a better chance at bringing them to God by speaking out in love and showing them grace—whether they deserved it or not. After all, that is what Jesus would do.
This trap of being fearful of staying silent only reduces the chances of having them come to God. My focus was soon shifted to the point of what would Jesus do in this circumstance? This changed my whole perspective.
Proverbs chapter 16, verse 7 says, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
For each and every person facing conflicted conversations, or who feel like they are being oppressed in the work place, educational area, or even within their family, staying silent may seem like a hard thing to do.
There have been numerous times in my life when I have felt worried that if I do not say anything during a conflict, no one will hear my point.
Yes, it is so important to stand up for yourself and your faith, but God deals with people in his own way too. Sometimes this may entail or require someone to speak up and say something. Other times, it may just be by allowing someone to treat them with grace while they rage on.
Be a peacemaker
The Bible says in Matthew chapter 5, verse 9, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.’
We hold in our hands the opportunity to bless others with the living Word. An opportunity to also bring God’s children home. I count it an honour to be able to speak life into people’s lives through God’s word.
When I allow anger to rise up and speak for me within unreasonable conversations, the devil wins. I cannot allow that to happen. Instead, I want to be someone who stands up for righteousness while still bringing people to God.
Standing up for your beliefs is one thing, but showing grace and love in unkind circumstances, that is where we see God remove the cage from their hearts. I want to be bold in my faith, but loving and graceful towards the unkind. This may be the only way some people experience God.
Cartia Moore is a sword fighter, trained and skilled in the art of fencing. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Screen & Media Studies, and minoring in Drama and Creative Writing. Her focus is film, television and swordfighting sequences. She is a youth leader and has a passion for bringing young girls to God and helping them to seek and find their worth and value in Him.
Cartia Moore’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cartia-moore.html