“…be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” I Timothy 4:12
During my spiritual studies, I realized that I had a responsibility to this world if I wanted to help make changes for good. When I walked into a room, I was learning that it was my duty to elevate the atmosphere, not to settle into the temperature already set. I needed to be an activist for God. That is what Jesus was. He elevated the atmosphere whenever he was present. He was a protester for God.
In the past, it was easy for me to enter a room and settle into whatever was going on, whether I agreed or not. Others can walk into a room, and the atmosphere immediately rises to a higher level. I admired those people but never thought I could be one of them. I have not mastered this yet, but I am getting better all the time. It’s not easy, but I was learning how to gracefully change the topic of conversation.
Now just so we’re clear here. I’m not talking about popping into a group and spouting the Bible or talking about God. There are many ways to be an activist for good. One is to keep conversations from dwelling on things that don’t express God, and the goodness in our world.
Here’s an example. When I am among seniors, the conversations seem to be about all sorts of health issues and death. Certainly not what I want to discuss. I change the topic to things like, how is your knitting coming along. What are you doing tomorrow? Did you see the last episode of such and such—anything to get them talking about something else. Of course, if God is a subject acceptable to them, I’m certainly willing to discuss Him.
Having a fear of talking in groups, I can relate to how Moses felt when God sent him out to lead the children of Israel out of bondage.
“And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? …have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say”. Exodus 4:10–12
WOW, I am not alone in this; God is with me all the way, and knowing that certainly helped, but I still had to get over my fear, of being noticed, I had to trust God. Because of that fear, I always stayed in the background. Odd as it may sound, joining a church helped me get over that. My church was a place I felt safe.
Slowly I started to join in. I gathered all my courage and agreed to chair committees. At one point, I was elected to the board. Then I was asked to be Chairman. OMG! Talk about scary, and I had to do a lot of praying. As Chairman, I was required to conduct the business meetings in front of the whole church, not just the board’s five members.
I prayed to know that God was there for me. He is my father, my creator, my everything. I learned that I already had all the courage I needed, to do whatever I need to do because I am His image and likeness. Knowing that helped me get over my fear of making a mistake, or being judged by others. I finally learned that it did not matter what other people thought; as long as I knew, I was following God’s lead to the best of my ability. Like Moses, I had to let go of my insecurities and have faith that God was with my mouth.
Because I worked through those issues at church, it improved my career. I could now take on management positions and conduct business meetings. Another thing that happened at my last job, where I still work as a consultant, was that there was a lot of cussing going on when I started. They began to realize that I never cursed, and I found one day that no one was cussing around me anymore. That is being a silent activist for God. I never needed to say a word. Working for Church made a big difference in my life.
Now, I needed to take that one step further. Doing that at work and in church was one thing, but in my personal life, it was different. I had other issues that needed healing. Things such as comparing myself to others. When I discovered we are all equally God’s image and likeness and reflect his qualities, what is there to compare?
Then there was the feeling of uneasiness around groups of people. One day I was given an opportunity to overcome this. I had been at a lecture, and I wanted to talk to the lecturer about getting my book published. When they asked the group who would attend the lunch after the lecture, I raised my hand. This was the first step, and though I was full of fear, I took it. Following is an excerpt from my blog about this issue, titled “Nothing is impossible to God,”
“This is a small group, and I wasn’t going to be able to hide. In situations like this, I usually pick a seat closest to the door, at the end of the table. I was the second person to arrive at the restaurant. It was time to decide, if I was going to choose to hide or put myself out there. I took a breath and picked a seat right in the middle of everything. To my surprise, when the speaker came in, she sat right next to me. Oh, WOW, this was meant to be, and my heart did little flip-flops. I am supposed to talk to her.
I am not a good conversation starter; always afraid I’m going to make a fool of myself. Time for another decision, will I live in fear for the rest of my life, or will I take the risk? I made the right choice.
Everything worked out perfectly. I joined the table conversation and had an excellent talk with the speaker, who, by the way, left with my book proposal. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. To my surprise, I felt quite at ease. That would not have happened if I had sat at the end of the table. I will never look for a quick escape again.”
That proved to me that God was right there supporting me. Now I’m ready to be a protester for God.
Most of the people I know understand I am very spiritually minded and respect that. When I walk into a room with them, conversation naturally raises if it is not already at a higher level. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” (Psalms 50:23)
When I am around people I don’t know; It’s a bit harder. I was learning there is such a thing as “eloquent silence.” The ‘still small voice’ of God lead me to discover that by telling me politely one day, to keep my mouth shut, when I enter a room where the atmosphere is uncomfortable. I had a choice to make. I can leave the room, or I can stay in “eloquent silence.” When I stood in silence, that silence was noticed, and the temperature began to rise. So, you see, even silence is a type of protest, it makes people think, makes them wonder, which is a good thing.
I didn’t realize this before but, writing my blogs is being a protester for God. When asked to record my blogs for Prayerful Living Internet Radio, it was another opportunity to be a Protester for God.
We can all be an activist for Good. I find that it gets easier the more I do it. If we disturb the waters, our good will be evil spoken of, but that is OK. That is what Jesus did, and look what they did to him, but he won the crown in the end. Look what he has done for our world. I will do what I can to carry on his legacy and be an activist for God. No one said this was easy, but the rewards are life-changing.
“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (I Timothy 4:12)
Join with me today while I’m out in the world, protesting for God and making conversations that will elevate the atmosphere—helping others to see the world from God’s point of view. If we all do this, the ripple effect will spread across the globe and bring us peace.
Peace be unto you! Michele