How many of you have been shushed in a library? Why would they do that? It’s because when you are in a library it is assumed that you speak quietly. What about when you head to a college football game? Should you use your library voice? Of course not, you can yell and scream to support your team. How does an adult speak to a child or an employee to a supervisor? No one tells you, but there are lots of expectations of how we use are supposed to use our voice, and what it sounds like.
For the last three weeks we have talked about all the voices that we hear each day, looking at the voice of deception, the voice of God, and finally today looking at finding our own voices. We have all heard the term used before of “finding your voice.” It means to discover your personality, discover what it means to express yourself, and to be yourself. But in the midst of all the voices and expectations, how do we find our own?
As a young Christian I struggled with finding my voice as a new believer. The expectations seemed to suggest that as a Christian I was supposed to always be happy, be nice to others, don’t make waves, and don’t get angry or worked up, ever. As I grew up though, that “Christian” voice I had learned about felt fake and shallow. I wasn’t always happy, life was not always good, and there were plenty of things that made me mad, even mad at God. I had doubts and fears, struggles and questions, and it appeared there was no room for that as a Christian.
Then I read some voices in the Bible, and I began to hear a very different voice. “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1, ESV) “O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.” (Psalm 22:2, ESV) I began to hear honest voices of pain and suffering turning to God in their struggles. Yet it was not just voices of pain that I heard in scripture, “O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it.” (Habakkuk 3:2, ESV) “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4, ESV)
The Christian voice is clearly not just one of rainbows and smiley faces. We find in Scripture voices of hope, but more importantly voices of honesty. We find voices of those who trust in God in the midst of pain and suffering. So as we find our voice as followers of Jesus, we can approach God as we are. When we are hurting and angry, come to God, when you are overwhelmed with joy, shout it from the mountaintops!!! Maybe the one expectation of our voice as Christians is to be who God made you to be, nothing less, nothing more.
- What has been hardest for you as you seek to find your voice?
- What expectations do you have of what a Christian’s voice should sound like? Is that biblical?
- As you seek to find your own voice as a believer take some time to read scripture to hear other Christians voices. (some examples: Psalm 13, 22, 116, 121, Habakkuk 3, Ecclesiastes)