You Have a Voice – Use It

Raise Your Voice - Kathy Khang

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:

  • Pray
  • Do your research
  • Prepare your talking points

While You Speak Up:

  • Pray
  • Breathe
  • Ask questions

After You Speak Up:

  • Pray
  • 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.)

4 Do's and Don't's from Raise Your Voice - video

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.

Just this:

“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.

Gospel-Centered

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.

* * *

Do you tend to react too quickly or too slowly? Please share in the comments.

Learn more about Raise Your Voice here.

Raise Your Voice - video

My thanks to NetGalley
for the review copy of this book

13 thoughts on “You Have a Voice – Use It

  1. Trudy

    Oh my! Thank you for a further review of this book, Lisa. Kathy’s video brought tears to my eyes. I love this quote and pray I can practice it more – “Speaking up is always about the gospel—speaking and painting a picture of truth, wholeness, and hope.” My heart aches for more hope, love, and kindness in this world! Blessings and love to you!

  2. Angie

    I need this book because for the longest time, I left social media for this same reason– I speak too soon and become very combative in my points of view if I am passionate about them. I found that social media really brought out the worst in me and I. DID. NOT. LIKE. IT. I really like the advise from your Facebook group to “Read. Watch. Learn. Feel. Examine yourself. Wrestle with God.” Definitely a great tip to follow.

  3. Barbara Harper

    I tend to err on the quiet side and avoid confrontation. But sometimes it’s necessary. I love the points about praying, doing research, preparing, and listening. Too often those passionate about a cause jump into the fray without those elements.

  4. Sandra J

    I was drawn by your title and even more by your post. Love the Be the Bridge group you’ve joined and your call for the 1st three months. It reminds me of lectio dinia – the practice of praying through life and the Word.

  5. Horace Williams Jr

    Hello Lisa. I always enjoy visiting your site. It is like visiting my favorite restaurant-there is always something I enjoy on the menu. I am more reserved when it comes to speaking up. I tend to sit back and think about what I am going say-asking God to give me wisdom if I should speak at all. I am learning to move past my fears and follow His lead. I enjoyed your video. It was nice to put a voice with the face and words of Lisa Notes. I hope you will have a fantastic holiday season and may God bless you and yours this Christmas.

  6. Laurie

    Lisa, I think the work you are doing in this area is so admirable. I will check out the FB group. A group that has a quiet period of learning and reading sounds appealing. I am trying to make my social media experience more positive. I tend to not want to ruffle feathers, but this is an issue near and dear to my heart. I need to find the courage to prayerfully speak up!

  7. Bethany

    Depends on the context and who I’m talking to! Typically I’m too quick to offer help and say yes, but very slow in expressing my opinion or feelings. Thanks for the wisdom here Lisa!

  8. Lesley

    Great review! I definitely err on the side of being hesitant to speak up, especially if it means fighting to be heard, but there are definitely times when we need to do that.

  9. Tracey

    If I don’t already have an opinion on the subject, I take too long to voice it, and yes, I usually lose the chance. If I have an opinion, look out, because it’s coming out one way or another. I wish I’d had a book like this years ago. It’s going in my Amazon cart now😁

  10. floyd

    For most of my life I’ve been the quick to speak and anger guy. That’s that ugly pride thing we’ve been talking about now for close to a decade.

    It is humility that doesn’t have to be right. It is that humility that seeks to understand…

    Sounds like a wonderful ministry. Glad you’re on board!

  11. Marva | SunSparkleShine

    Thanks for posing this question, Lisa. I err more on the side of listening and waiting for the right time to speak, choosing sometimes not to speak at all. I really appreciated the point that as Christians we’re not meant to be silent. My prayer is to know when to speak up, what to say and when to remain silent.
    Raise your Voice sounds like a good read — I’m adding it to my list now.
    Blessings to you this Advent season.

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