Speaking Out

people talking 2Lately I have been encouraging apprentices of Jesus to speak out when confronted with prejudice, injustice, misinformation or downright lies.  Here is more on that topic from two unlikely “bedfellows”  – Seth Godin and Richard Rohr.

Godin is American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker.  Here’s what he says about speaking out:

About to be celebrated all over the world for the first time, tomorrow is annual Ruckusmaker Day. Tomorrow (Feb. 24) would have been Steve Jobs’ 60th birthday. Steve’s contribution wasn’t invention. Technology breakthroughs didn’t come out of his workbench the way they did from Land or Tesla. Instead, his contribution was to have a point of view. To see something and say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. To not only have a point of view, but to change it when the times demanded.  Most of all, to express that point of view, to act on it, to live with it.

There’s a lot to admire about the common-sense advice, “If you don’t have anything worth saying, don’t say anything.” On the other hand, one reason we often find ourselves with nothing much to say is that we’ve already decided that it’s safer and easier to say nothing.

If you’ve fallen into that trap, then committing to having a point of view and scheduling a time and place to say something is almost certainly going to improve your thinking, your attitude and your trajectory. . . .

Commit to articulating your point of view on one relevant issue, one news story, one personnel issue. Every day. Online or off, doesn’t matter. Share your taste and your perspective with someone who needs to hear it. Speak up. Not just tomorrow, but every day. A worthwhile habit.

Richard Rohr is a Franciscan friar ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church and an internationally known inspirational speaker and author. He speaks  directly to the lack of  prophetic voice in the church.  He notes that the dearth of modern-day prophets is present because:

“Being a prophet demands two seemingly opposites: radical traditionalism and shocking iconoclasm at the same time. . . . Holding the tension of opposites is the necessary education of the prophet, and the Church has given little energy to it.

To put together these two immense opposites demands a good deal of human maturity, groundedness, spiritual intelligence, and readiness to not be liked–even by good people whom you really respect. You must be willing to believe that God is calling you to do this, that God is using you, and that you are an instrument. “

Christ-followers by definition have a point of view.That point of view is articulated in the Sermon on the Mount, especially the Beatitudes, and demonstrated by Jesus. All apprentices are called  to act on it, speak about it, live by it.  Some of us maybe called to be prophets to society at large or the Church in particular.  Our “peculiar” voice is needed more than ever.  Speak up!

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