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This morning I had a revelation. An epiphany, if you will. A few days ago a group of us encountered a very disturbed man who managed to manipulate the discussion into a direction that none of us wanted to go. It was a learning experience for all of us, I think, and it took a toll on me emotionally, no surprise, for I tend to turn these things inward. In hindsight, I realise that I vacated my post as a leader in this group and instead, stood by feeling powerless. I knew something was wrong and should be stopped and yet I froze, feeling inadequate and wondering why no one else did anything.
This morning I realised that I acted out of insecurity instead of godly instinct. I usually do not have the strongest personality in a room and often defer to those who do, even if I have insight to offer and the authority to direct things. I often doubt myself and my thoughts, because if someone I like or respect disagrees with me, can my view really be right? I hate the feeling of being isolated and alone and unwanted and will do things to avoid these feelings. All of these motives are pitiful excuses and a bad foundation from which to make decisions. God has given me a certain discernment and wisdom that others need to hear. Not everyone will agree or see things my way, which is precisely why I need to speak up - to present a side no one might see otherwise. Do I trust that God has placed me in a position of leadership and authority in certain areas and that I am to exercise my instincts and character and insight in a lovingly assertive manner that will bring clarity and direction and an atmosphere of freedom in the place? YES!
Keeping quiet and being tolerant and patient and open minded and hesitant when everything inside of you is screaming, "There is something very wrong here!" will end in letting bad things happen to others, plus it will always lead to internal and personal turmoil because one is not acting on a God-given instinct or discernment. Of course, we should mature and develop in how we act on these instincts, but in order to do that, we must start to move the situation in a positive direction, and act before the suppressed instinct leads to turmoil and the turmoil becomes a raging storm.
This incident has opened my eyes in many ways, especially when it comes to asserting myself in a situation that God asks me to participate in. Now to put it into practise.
This is a fancy door handle and some crunchy fall leaves in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Comments

Shelley said…
gee Matte! We are both learning...wow.
I was very recently at a leadership meeting, which is a difficult place to speak up in, since everyone is a leader...
I confided in someone at the break that I was hoping someone else would bring up something that was on my heart, and then I would know that I was on the right track. And he said "But that is why you are here. Why would God show two people the same thing, when he could bring two important issues to the table instead of one? If it is on your heart, then you should share it, that is why you are here! (and probably why it is on your heart too... )
It was a slap in the face for me...in a good way of course. :)

I did end up sharing it, with much courage required, and he was right, it was important and worth saying. :)
shane magee said…
"speak your mind, even when your voice trembles." it's a bumper sticker we have and something i believe in passionately. i pray for the courage to stand up when everyone else is sitting down and to sit when i'm being commanded to stand. dissent is always uncomfortable, lonely and often terrifying. discerning when it is called for is so difficult it takes a gift from the holy spirit of god.

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