Have you ever been afraid to speak?
I have. I think we all have at one time or another. For years I kept many of my own thoughts and fears hidden inside. The problem with not having a voice, is that the gift of God is being suppressed.
Fear can entrap and silence us. This is not what God intended.He made each person unique and divinely gifted; and that gift is to be shared, not suppressed. No one should have to live in fear of being criticized, hurt or rejected for just being ourselves, but many are living in that fear.
Co-dependent or abusive relationships often create fear that robs one of the freedom to express their own individuality. In severely abusive relationships, the freedom to think for oneself is often sacrificed for doing whatever it takes to avoid conflict.
In cases such as this, how an individual thinks, acts, and speaks is not an expression of their true self, but based upon the thoughts and opinions of others. Complying with others can become the driving force in determining how one expresses their thoughts. In abuse, one’s own person becomes lost and silenced by the voice of another.They become a parrot of the abuser’s voice. This is sad, but true.
I remember a time when I first began drinking coffee. A person close to me asked me what I thought I was doing, saying, we don’t drink coffee. It tastes like burnt water. That individual was saying that because they did not like coffee, I did not like it either. Fortunately, I have found my own voice and learned to make my own decisions. That person is no longer close to me and I still drink coffee today.
While you may be fortunate enough to have not experienced this type of interaction in your own personal relationships, you may still be affected by the thoughts and opinions of others. You see fear attempts to enslave us, keeping us from expressing the unique being we were created to be. How you may ask?
Those who rely on the affirmation of others to define their own personal self worth, are just as trapped as those in abusive or co-dependent relationships. Think about it, do you make a decision, or complete a project then run to seek the approval of your spouse, your employer, parents, or friends? If so, and you rely on the opinions and affirmations of others more than you do God, then you have some of your priorities out of line.
The bible tells us that we are to have no other Gods. The truth is, if we give more attention to what others think than what God thinks, we are serving the wrong God.
What does it mean to find your own voice? Your voice is an expression of your heart and your spirit, it is your true self. It is not based upon the thoughts and opinions of others. It is based upon the unique gift of who God created you to be. You must have confidence in who God created you to be and value your own thoughts and opinions. If your heart is full of God and his word, then you can be his unique mouthpiece upon the earth, expressing the gift of you. God made you, and there is no other you upon the earth. Don’t allow fear to trap you in relying on the affirmation of others.
Other’s affirmation is hit or miss, and if it comes, great! We can not rely on that however, we must learn to be true to ourselves and God first. When you can be comfortable in speaking freely in the midst of opposition, you have truly discovered your own authentic voice.
Blessings to all,