It’s time for Five Minute Friday, the weekly timed keyword-themed writing challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Her words — and those of the others who congregate around the virtual table to share — are on Facebook at http://www.fiveminutefriday.com. I encourage you to read them … and participate in the often challenging exercise.
I’ve been sharing snippets taken from Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. They are a testament to the value of the exercise. This week, I’ll share some perspective from Tammy, who I hope inspires you to check us out or, better yet, encourage you to try your hand at focused, unscripted writing for just five minutes. And share it on Kate’s website.
“I joined the FMF community in 2015 and am amazed at the depth of relationships I have built! Seeing the same people’s posts every week and reciprocating reading and commenting has encouraged my writing. The Twitter party on Thursdays has also become a joy!”
The word this week is SPEAK. The clock is started, so let’s GO …
I’m fortunate to have been chosen to be born in the United States, a place where I can speak freely. Or at least that’s what our founding fathers reasoned.
Free speech, however, means we have additional responsibility. I think it’s more important to speak in love. Unfortunately, there is too much hate and division prevalent these days, so it becomes even more incumbent on us to think before we speak and then, and only then, speak with love.
That’s a maxim good not only here in the USA, but around the globe. There are too many people spewing hateful, often untruthful words meant to tear others down. I respect their right — however disgusting their message may be — to speak, but I don’t have to respond with equally derisive speech. Two wrongs never make a right.
We Christians have an even more important mandate. Not only should we be speaking in love, but we should be adding the Truth. We know what that truth is, although with so many “religions” and “thoughts” on true faith, it’s often hard to approach a conversation without the “I’m right, you’re wrong” bias. Truth — that’s with a capital T — is having an open mind, open to see where others are coming from, why they believe as they believe. It’s having a mindset that embraces dialog, not shuts down when a view is presented that’s slightly or sometime even outright opposite ours. If we can let those opposing views be heard, we can speak to the issues. After that, it’s not up to us to persuade. It’s up to the Holy Spirit. We’re just a conduit for the Truth of God.
I know it’s hard. It’s extremely hard. … STOP
… I’ve experienced it. You’ve experienced it. Jesus experienced it. He listened to the alt-rights and alt-lefts of His day. He addressed them, often in parables they could understand. He was martyred for His effort. But guess what, that bloody sacrifice saved you and me. And it was for those who opposed Him as well, if only they would have listened to His speech . And when He walked out of that grave He spoke volumes and assured us our temporary life on earth is a mere speck in eternity.
Our speech should reflect our beliefs. We all have stories to tell illustrating how we came to Jesus and how God touched us in both good times and bad times, at the mountaintops and in the valleys.
Speak your story. Let your voice be heard … always shared in love.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Value the ones around you, for it is they who will make or break you.