“…This message from the Lord has made me an object of continual insults and derision. Sometimes I think, ‘I will make no mention of his message. I will not speak as his messenger any more.’ But then his message becomes like a fire locked up inside of me, burning in my heart and soul. I grow weary of trying to hold it in; I cannot contain it.” (Jeremiah 20:8-9)
I fear that many times I keep quiet when I should speak. And too often I speak, when I should keep quiet.
Beside me, all around me, there are those who are dying, and I do not speak. I am afraid, I fear their insults. Or I think, “They will not listen; what is the point?” I hold within me the good news, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a message entrusted to me, being an ambassador whose job is to entreat the world to be reconciled to God. But I stay in my embassy, I stay in my home. I set up an office and wait for the lost to seek me out.
And when I do speak – I speak and tear down, I laugh at the expense of others. Why do I feel so free then? Why do my words flow so easily when they contain no real eternal value?
I have grown much in my speech, in the use of my words so that others may hear the Gospel, so that I might speak the truth and speak it in love. But I fail too often.
I need this burning that Jeremiah speaks of – I have felt it at times, in situations where I debate in my mind whether to speak of Christ or to be silent. The battle rages – sometimes I win, sometimes the devil gains ground.
I must press on to use my words to the greatest potential, that in everything Christ would be glorified in me – for he bought me, I am not my own. And what joy it brings, knowing of his love, justice, grace, and holiness – and how much more it should cause me to speak the right words and to speak them at the right time.