Have you ever had that moment when you’re about to say something, and, for a split second, you’re ever so slightly fearful of what the reaction might be when you say it?
And in that moment you’re faced with a choice.
You can either speak up, stand by what you believe to be true and deal with the consequences.
Or, you can tone down what you think. Say it in a way that offers wiggle room. Compromise.
Now don’t get me wrong, there needs to be room in this life for compromise and saying things kindly and with respect.
But compromising your beliefs because you’re afraid of what the other person might think?
Not so clever.
Something rather fabulous happened yesterday …
While dropping off some Operation Christmas Child leaflets at one of the local schools, I got to chatting with one of the members of staff about God.
I knew already that she’s a Christian and goes to church but when the conversation turned to our frustrations, I had a rare moment of ‘think before I speak’ clarity.
In that moment, I was about to tell her how much the anti-gay marriage petitions earlier in the year did my head in.
It was as I opened my mouth to speak that the slight fear cropped up. I didn’t know where she stood on this emotive issue. “What is she going to think if I say that?!?”
But I said it anyway and guess what she said?
“I am so glad you said that! I feel exactly the same!”
She must have said those same words three or four times and from the way she spoke, it was like I had, unwittingly, released something. Her face lit up. It was just magical to watch.
What really happens when you say what you think instead of what you think someone wants you to say?
You give the other person permission to be real too.
There’s a vulnerability in letting go of the pretence. And yes, it can be scary but by modelling it, you allow others in, strengthen relationships and give this world a dose of dearly needed honesty.
There is nothing this world needs more than you showing up as you, the real you.
Loving. Being loved. Saying what you really think, with kindness and humility.
Because you are God’s work of art, and he doesn’t need a do over 🙂