"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Raise your hands if you've ever heard ... Wait—no, please don't. Everyone's heard this axiom, and many of us have tried to take it to heart.
It's good to show people you care. It's good to express love through acts of kindness. But for many women, this little "live by" quote has done more harm than good. It's muzzled your voice, stifled your wisdom, shut your mouth and shut you down while the people you care about are starving for a good word.
Yes, we need to show love. We desperately need the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through our hands in signs, wonders and miracles. But let's not forget that the Holy Spirit is also the Empowerer of words of wisdom, words of knowledge and gifts of faith that cry out to be expressed with words.
"Like apples of gold in settings of silver" (Prov. 25:11)—that's how the Bible describes a word fitly spoken. Carefully chosen—and not carelessly spoken—words can be precious and life-saving to the people around you.
I've realized that people need words. They crave to hear something from someone removed from the absolute closeness of their situation to speak life to them. The little girl at the cash register who's already lived a hard life. Your daughter who's grappling with a difficult marriage. The co-worker in the cubicle next to you who needs to know God cares—and that He has the power to intervene in their desperate situation.
Unfortunately, many of us have lost our voice. We've been reading our Bibles and attending church for years, but the busyness of life (and the aforementioned axiom) have silenced us.
We're too caught up in carpools and PTA meetings and the frustration of finding dress slacks that feel any sort of comfortable for the board meeting today. Our daily word count is spent on rattling off a list of do's and don'ts to our kids or machine-gunning our husbands with reminders for the day.
OK, let's be realistic. Some of those things need to be said to keep on top of life and schedules. But I've found that people are hungry for you to say something—anything that will lift them up from the miry clay of this life.
"As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country" (Prov. 25:25). People need to hear your words—good news from the kingdom of heaven to the people of this world. Powerful words that soothe, relieve, encourage, advise ...
Words that lift the heart of your kindergartner (yes, they face stress too) or reset the priorities of your 13-year-old.
Words that reassure your husband—or a dear friend—that with God, it will be alright.
Through Him, you can persevere through this trial, you can overcome. You can pass the boards for this new career. You can learn to live again after a failed relationship. You can love past the mistakes of your kids.
How do you regain your voice? It starts with finding your passion. Going back to your first love, realizing that God has called you to be His hands, His love, His voice in this earth.
Who are you? What do you care about?
If the answer is God, you're on your way to being a blessing to many, for out of that passion, life can flow and words can heal. With a sensitivity to God's Holy Spirit, you will learn the wisdom and the timing of God—the key to "a word fitly spoken."
A Special Invitation:
Want to regain your voice? Consider attending the Arise 2015 Women's Conference, January 22-26. Hosted by Kathy Gray of World Revival Church, this conference is focused on helping women arise to their position in God. You'll strengthen your identity and increase in the authority and influence God has called you to. Live streaming is available—but attending in person is best if you can make it to Kansas City. Find out more here.
Laura Woodworth is a screenwriter and producer based in Kansas City. She also serves as director of communications for Steve Gray Ministries, a ministry focused on outreach to Israel and the Jews.
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