Don’t Be Silent
Which side are you typically on?
(1) You speak up very quickly.
Opening your mouth comes easily, and sometimes gets you in trouble.
(2) You’re reluctant to voice your opinion too soon.
You’d rather think about it first, but sometimes that means you miss the opportunity altogether.
Kathy Khang addresses both sides in her new book, Raise Your Voice.
As an Asian American, she erred much of her early life on the quiet side. But as she aged, she learned that silence carries a risk.
She shares in this book that as God’s creation, we aren’t meant to be silent. All of creation communicates, and we need to speak up, too.
“We all need to understand that voice, identity, and agency are given by God but often are underdeveloped or ignored in people on the margins. We need to be seen and heard.“
That doesn’t mean we become abrasive.
Speaking up should not create more divisions or cause more pain. To the contrary, “speaking up can be an avenue of truth and healing,” bringing injustice and sin to the forefront where it can be corrected.
“I choose to speak up, over and over again, even when it’s awkward because awkwardness is easier to overcome than allowing injustice to continue.”
How to Speak Up
Kathy shares a list of things to consider before we speak up, as we speak up, and after we speak up. Here are a few items from these sections.
Before You Speak Up:
- Do your research
- Prepare your talking points
While You Speak Up:
- Ask questions
After You Speak Up:
- Follow up
- Start all over again
Speak Up Online
But speaking up isn’t just for IRL situations. We use our voice again and again in online venues as well.
In the video I give you some of Kathy’s tips for online communication. (I originally shared this video on Monday’s post on 5 Books I Recommend.)
I recently joined a new Facebook group mentioned in Raise Your Voice called Be the Bridge to Racial Unity. It’s the online arm of Be the Bridge, a website dedicated to equipping racial bridge building in the church.
I’m currently one month into the three-month quiet stage of the Facebook group. For the first three months, you’re asked to do active listening there—no posting or commenting.
“Read. Watch. Learn. Feel. Examine yourself. Wrestle with God.”
This is good advice both for online interactions and in-real-life conversations. First listen. But then speak.
Whichever way we choose to speak up, this is a truth worth remembering:
“Speaking up is never about creating conflict or being disruptive just to shake things up and leave a mess. Speaking up is always about the gospel—speaking and painting a picture of truth, wholeness, and hope.”
Regardless of your natural tendency to speak up quickly or slowly, speak up wisely. That’s the best way to make a difference.
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Do you tend to react too quickly or too slowly? Please share in the comments.
My thanks to NetGalley
for the review copy of this book
- 5 Books I Recommend + Video – November 2018
- 5 Links, Books, and Things I Love – December 2018