Have you ever been trapped in that suffocating place where fear of rejection and faithfulness to God meet in mortal combat? Where God challenges you to step out and speak up against prevailing opinion?
Like when everyone is gung-ho about a project or person, but you know or sense disaster lies ahead or something about it (or him or her) is just . . . off.
So you muster the courage to speak up but are met with silence and astonishment. As though you were a two-headed dragon; unexpected —
— and repulsive.
You’re not alone.
Years ago my husband and I moved to a new area where I became a leader in a local ministry. At one of our leader’s meetings, a woman named Christine* was mentioned as a potential candidate to join our team. Everyone loved the idea, thought she was a perfect fit.
But I knew better.
I worked with Christine and knew the venomous woman behind the mask.
Problem was, none of the leaders discussing the possibility knew me. I was young and new to the group. Why should they listen to me? To make matters worse, Christine was an established member of a popular Christian organization. And she was beloved by Nancy, the leader of our group.
“So, are we unanimous in inviting Christine into leadership?” Nancy* asked.
I folded my trembling hands in my skirt and swallowed. The Spirit pressed me, “Tell them.” My heart galloped in the back of my throat and conviction lay like a lead scarf across my shoulders. But I remained silent in my misery.
And a tare slipped in among the wheat. (Matthew 13:24-30)
It’s such a temptation to silence God’s Spirit and go along with the crowd, isn’t it? I admit, sometimes I’d do just about anything for the sake of “peace.”
When it comes to being accepted, many of us will compromise to gain the approval of those we love and look up to. Let’s face it, deep down you and I are people pleasers especially when rejection is in view. And we never “get used to” rejection, do we? Throughout my life, God has called me to stand up and say the hard thing.
To invite rejection.
And I feel like a two-headed dragon — all scales and fire and billows of smoke.
I hate being a dragon.
I’ll bet you do, too. We want to be soft and appealing, encouragers who wave pom-poms with a smile. We long to make others feel loved and be loved in return. But sometimes God calls us to dragon-speak, to share the hard thing, the hated purifying truth that strengthens God’s people.Sometimes God calls us to dragon-speak, to share the hated purifying truth that strengthens God's people. Click To Tweet
I know, it’s tough to speak up. I dread it, too. It’s unpopular and miserable and makes us look like — feel like — a two-headed dragon.
But friend, it’s worth it. Remember Christine, that leader candidate that I failed to share the hard truth about? Well, she joined our team and injected her venom drop by drop. She poisoned the blossoming new leaders of the group and when she left a year later, she took those vulnerable women with her.
And I’ve never forgotten it.
So today if the Spirit calls, will you step out and speak up? Will you risk being labeled a two-headed dragon? Speak up for the sake of the weak, for the good of God’s kingdom. God is a Protector and He may use that hard truth to protect and preserve a vulnerable soul today.
What is most difficult for you about speaking up and sharing hard truth?
Being in a large group where a certain leader is reverenced and confronting that leader with the truth while the vast majority look at us with surprise and even contempt is a hard road to walk. It has caused much pain in our hearts and lives, but we could not in good conscience sit and say nothing or back that person any longer. Questions arise in our hearts. Did we do everything as God wanted? Etc.? Struggling through this. Good article, right in line with where we are today.
There’s really only one word to describe having to share “dragon words” with others–misery. Praying for you.
thank you, sweet friend for this. It is hard, but true. I have spoken up before, believed whole heartedly what I believed to be true. Friendships were lost, anger was shown, but I still believe that it was the Lords words and His wisdom. This person continues to destroy, but I have said all I will. His will be done.
Thank you so much for your wisdom and insight.
Much love, Barb.
I feel your pain and admire your maturity amidst it. Speaking up is most difficult, most painful when it involves a friend. Oh that the Lord would give us hearts to receive truth when it comes, so we may go on from “faith to faith” in our walk with Him! (Romans 1:17)
Great piece Bethany!
How many times have I done this? Countless! And yet, the flip side is true, I’ve been the two headed dragon too. Not a coveted position, but I’ve found that if I’m able to hand it, and the outcome of it, over to Him, He bathes it in Himself and quickly moves me out of the equation. Yet, it’s much easier said than done, that’s why we’re all a work in progress, and thankfully he’s more gentle with us than we are with ourselves.
Blessings and keep on writing the hard thing!
I love the thought about God moving us out of the way while He works. Sounds good to me! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
Wow!!! Your words inspire and convict. It definitely makes me think, ponder and work it through. Thanks for that.
Thanks, Susan. 🙂 “Working it through” before sharing anything that’s hard to hear is definately the way of wisdom.
Wow! Great words. Convicting. “Stand up and say the hard words. Invite rejection.” I’ve been studying the Book of John, and Jesus shared many hard sayings that were not well received particularly by the religious leaders. Perhaps when Christians think about being conformed to the image of Christ, we tend to think of loving and merciful instead of speaking the truth. No matter how hard the truth is to swallow, when the Spirit leads, we’re suppose to follow.
I think the key is examining our motives to discover whether it’s the Spirit’s leading or our flesh wanting to “set things straight.” I’ve experienced both and have to say, God’s way is definately better!