Permission to Speak

traffic lights

You already have permission
Just saying.
You have permission to create, to speak up, and stand up.
You have permission to be generous, to fail, and to be vulnerable.
You have permission to own your words, to matter and to help.
No need to wait. ~ Seth Godin

Those words from Seth Godin came to mind again this morning as I was reading a portion of 2 Corinthians 10 when Paul was defending his ministry.

“You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do. So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it. I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.”

This statement made me wonder if Paul ever struggled with owning his words. Did he have moments of insecurity when he met people face to face? Did those harsh words “he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing” ever come back to haunt him in the middle of the night? Or, did He  confidently and consistently cling to the truth that, because of who he was in Christ, He had every right to speak up?

I ask this because there are days when the words I write while safely sitting behind my laptop are bold and full of confidence yet if you were to put me in a room full of my peers I would shrink back or get all nervous and tongue-tied. I can easily forget that who I am in Christ is the same whether I’m sitting at my kitchen table typing on my computer or whether I’m sitting in a room full of 100 other people.

The message He places on my heart is bigger than me. It’s bigger than all my self doubts and inadequacies. I know that when I start doubting that I have permission to speak up it’s because I’ve taken my eyes and my heart off the One I’m called to write for and shifting the focus onto me instead. Perhaps I need to get a tattoo that simply says…STOP DOING THAT!

I love the fact that Paul didn’t fit the picture of an ideal public speaker. I love that God worked through His weaknesses over and over and over again. I love that God desires to do that in each of our lives too. Today, I want to lean into Him. I want to do the work He calls me to do with the strength and confidence He gives me to do it!

Do you ever struggle with having permission? 

I’ve been loving this song Brave by Sara Bareilles lately…

show me how big your brave is!!!  

4 thoughts on “Permission to Speak

  1. Jenifer

    “… there are days when the words I write while safely sitting behind my laptop are bold and full of confidence yet if you were to put me in a room full of my peers I would shrink back or get all nervous and tongue-tied.” Oh girl this is SO ME!!! Thank you for this post!

    Reply
  2. Don McAllister

    Those words from Seth Godin often echo in mind, too. Love this post because I feel the same way: I love that God worked through Paul’s weaknesses over and over and over again. And I love that God desires to do that in each of our lives too.

    Reply
    1. Eileen Post author

      Thanks, Don. I’m so thankful for all the lessons we can learn and apply to our own lives through his life and his struggles. Love all the “imperfect, flawed” folks God used and still uses.

      Reply

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