How Do I Speak Up in a Noisy World?

I was watching a movie the other night that included a scene in which a couple of people were talking to each other while riding sky high in a CH-47.  The characters had no issue hearing one another, as they were able to entertain a full conversation with the rotors fully whirling.  And no, they weren't using headsets.  

The Boeing CH-47 is commonly known to most as a Chinook.  I've been privileged to take many trips in these heavy duty birds across Afghanistan and even around the United States (making the occasional pit-stop at Lambert's to catch some flying rolls!).  There is no way that I have been able to have a full conversation on a Chinook while it's in the air.  One, I have to wear earplugs because it is insanely loud.  Two....well, it's INSANELY LOUD!  Even if someone talked directly into your ear on a Chinook, it would be difficult to hear what is being said.      

Our world can be noisy.  There's over 7.5 billion people on earth.  Most of us have thoughts, opinions, and voices and we like to share them.  This is good.  We should share our thoughts and listen to the thoughts of others, but I'm convinced that we sometimes struggle with how to direct our "noise".  

Social media is an easy outlet for our voice.  We can quickly hammer out characters and blast them for all of our little corner of the world to see.  Some days inspiration strikes folks harder and they share a thought or thoughts that go viral.  In this case, more than a person's little corner will be privy to their voice.  I can't deny the power of a message being picked up and broadcast over social media for the masses to hear.  However, because there are so many songs being sung at once on social media, it's often difficult to hear any of them.  Or, we only tune into the songs that we want to hear.  

I believe social media brings out our biggest immaturities and insecurities.  Couple that with the fact that it is also INSANELY LOUD, communicating for real change is often difficult.  I'm not saying it can't be done, but it's rare.

I'm not pretending to be an all-knowing expert.  I'm just a guy with a plethora of experiences, who by the grace of God, gets to serve in full-time Kingdom ministry.  However, I can share with you what I've learned and what I've come to understand.  I have made many communication mistakes, but I have also been fortunate to accidentally stumble upon wonderful communication.

Obviously, everyone is different.  I realize that there are people in positions of influence that most can't understand.  Politicians, athletes, celebrities, writers, pastors, musicians, and CEOs can sometimes reach an enormous audience simply because of their position.  In this case, social media can be a powerful and instant platform for communication.  However, for the vast majority, communicating for real change on Facebook is not realistic.  

In fact, communicating in the social network world is tricky.  Sure, you can share thoughts, but ultimately, the message is left up to those who interpret it.  People can twist words, thoughts, and even ideas to mean something completely different and fit a personal narrative.'s always out there!


Again, I know social media is easy, but I truly believe there are better places to speak up.  I'll be honest, I'm targeting fellow Christ-followers.  What I'm about to say can be applicable to others, but I am writing this as an encouragement to my brothers and sisters in Christ who are passionate about the gospel and seeing the world know Jesus.    

I know you want to speak up!  It is hard to watch the world burn and not want to shout.  It's human nature.  Regardless of what people believe, politically or religiously, strong conviction causes us to make noise!

Christians, what I am trying to say is, I think there are more effective places and means of communication.  

LET ME ALSO CLARIFY....I'm talking to real Christians here.  I'm not talking to Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals.  I'm talking to those who genuinely love Christ and truly desire for His gospel to be known.  

Those who want to be immature and pretend to be followers of Jesus while actually being more driven by a political party and completely degrading and slandering those who think differently, I'm not talking to you.  In fact, do us a favor and please stop claiming to be in Christ.

Christ-followers, let me offer some suggestions of where we can speak up in a noisy world.

1. Your Circle of Influence: Everyone has a circle.  It includes your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.  Some circles are big and some are small, but most of us have opportunity to converse with a regular circle of people on a regular basis.  Some of the best communication can take place in these circles.  I'm talking about intimate, two-way (speaking and listening) conversation that isn't forced or uncomfortable.  Obviously, we should know how to read cues and factor in timing for certain conversations.  However, we know our circles!  This shouldn't be difficult.  Use the opportunities in your circle of influence to share words of truth and love.  Be bold in sharing God's clear message for things like justice, life, respect, self-control, kindness, and love.

2. Action: We talk a lot about love as Christians.  How about actually loving others?  Sure, we can change a profile pic to show our support for a cause, re-post an article, or craft our own "clever" statement.  But, no one will ever really believe us unless we live it.  We must put love into action.  We must be the hands and feet of Christ, take on His mind (Phil 2).  

Well, how do you love?  I ask my kids this question all the time.  I ask them to share practical ways in which they can put love into action in their context and in their circles of influence.  My son will often talk about standing up for the bullied kid and being willing to talk to and associate with outcasts.  That's a way to put love into action!  My daughter will often talk about serving others through deed.  That's a way to put love into action!  It isn't rocket science!  We just need to be willing to understand and recognize the needs of others and selflessly serve.  Things like letting your neighbors borrow things, watching your neighbor's kids for free while they go on a "date night", inviting people into your home for a free meal, meeting someone's financial needs without them asking, and simply caring enough to listen and support others are all easy ways to show love.  Make an investment in people, and not just people that fit your mold!  Diversify!  Make an investment in others.  Be there when they're hurting.  Care when they're excited and passionate.  Serve!

Obviously, we have opportunities to put love into action with those outside our regular circle of influence too.  We can give of our talent and time to serve the needs of others.  We can give of the resources that God has blessed us with to feed the hungry.  We can help the stranded motorist on the side of the road.  We can smile, say hello, tip well, and encourage someone that's frustrated or having a bad day.  All of these things may seem small.  They also might seem like little things that all decent human beings should do.  However,  I will call these loving behaviors contagious.  When you consistently display these loving contagious actions, you earn the opportunity to speak God's truth into a person that is open to hear it.  That's powerful!

I can honestly tell you that I have had some of the most wonderful gospel-sharing conversations with the most unlikely of people, simply because I consistently showed the little loving actions.  Now, I'm not pretending to be great at this.  In fact, I'm the opposite.  I often have to pray that God would convict my heart and that I would get myself out of the way to see the hurts, needs, and passions of others.  However, when I've accidentally stumbled upon a consistent pattern of loving a person and caring for them, I have been able to give them Jesus.

And that's what's important.....JESUS WILL CHANGE HEARTS AND LIVES!  Nothing else will fix our problems.

3. The Voting Booth:  I don't want to spend time on politics, but we all have the opportunity to elect our leadership.  In fact, if you don't can you complain?  You have a voice through your vote.  Now, I'm not going to tell you who to vote for.  Pray about this.  I'll simply say don't assume one party is more Christian than the other.  Pray for God's wisdom in the voting process, and regardless of who wins election, pray for the individual that God allowed to be in the position of leadership.  

4. The Dinner Table: Okay, I know I've been saying this a lot lately, but it starts at the dinner table.  Make meal times a priority in your house.  Put down devices and look into each other's eyes.  Ask questions.  Talk.  Process life with those in your household.  Encourage each other with God's truth.  Talk about ways that your family/household can be the hands and feet of Christ.  Let it be a brainstorming session.  Your dinner table can be a strategic launching point for the gospel to be broadcast to the masses!  

I understand the we want the masses to know Jesus!  I understand that we are passionate people that want to speak up so that the world will change.  However, the next time you're tempted to engage in that YouTube comments section or share that clever meme that sarcastically jabs those who think differently, realize that is not going to change anything.  In fact, you're probably just going to give yourself a headache and get waist deep into an endless cycle of back and forth.  Because, others are passionate too!  

Speak up in other ways.  Start at the dinner table and with those God has put around you.  Love others, even those who don't like you.  Use your right to vote!  Get informed and carefully pray for God's wisdom in the process.     

Better yet, when you want to speak up, make sure you are listening first.           

"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;"
James 1:19

I want you to know that I love you.  I know there will be some that share my same passion for Christ that'll stumble across my little blog.  I know there might be some that think completely different who will make it to the end of this little post.  Regardless, I love you and I hope that you find comfort, peace, and rest!  I really do.   In fact, I would love to put down my devices, log off of social media for a while, and just spend time talking with you.  If we're ever in close proximity to each other, let's go get a cup of coffee!

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