Friday, January 7, 2011

Speak NOW, or Forever Hold your Peace!!!

For Christmas, I got Taylor Swift's new album which is entitled, “Speak Now”. Listening to it is rather mesmerizing. It is definitely her best album by far, and it really shows off her ability as a song writer. This album is a lot more honest and open than the first two; and it would make sense. The theme is about not letting the important things go unsaid. This theme is definitely defined in the song “Speak Now”, which I'm assuming is the song the album is named after.

In the song, it describes a situation where this guy that this girl is in love with is marrying another young woman who is described as a mean, snobby person. The narrator basically goes through the song apparently worried about how this will pan out for this young man she cares so much about. She says, “I am not the kind of girl who should be rudely barging in on a white veil occasion. But you are not the type of boy who should be marrying the wrong girl.”

By the end of the song, the preacher says 'speak now, or forever hold your peace!'. The girl then shakily stands up...and we all know the end of the story. They live happily ever after. But, if you simply look at the surface, all you're going to get from this song is a cute story about a girl who wants the best for the guy she loves. But dig a little deeper than that, and you get something that should be a very strong message that many should hear.

I think that what she's really trying to say is that if there's someone you love or care about deeply (not necessarily a significant other) that seems to be in potentially harmful situation, you need to say something; because you just never know what good you could do by speaking up. Even if it's not the most popular thing, you need to do something about it if you're worried about them. If something doesn't sit right with you and you don't do something, you put yourself at risk for regretting that decision at some point.

This seems to be the situation with a lot of Christian young people. Too often, they stand back and don't do anything to try and reach out to others. They get too scared to speak up about the word of God. They are swimming in a sea of lost souls, and don't realize the good that they could do. They're afraid of being rejected by everyone else for being different. For a lot of teens, even young adults, the most important thing is to have friends and making sure your reputation as someone 'cool' isn't ruined; or at least as someone 'normal'. A lot of young people are absolutely terrified, I think, of being considered weird or offending someone.

But you know what? Christians are supposed to be considered weird by the world. The bible even says so. 1st Peter 4:4-5 says: “With respect, they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery and malign you; but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” (ESV)

So why are you so worried about what others thinking about you? God should be THE priority of your life. I think that being weird or strange in this life will be worth it; especially with the good things that come in the next. Those people who call you weird will have to answer to God about their actions. Next excuse?

If someone gets angry at your for standing up for Christ, or makes fun of you, you're blessed. It may not seem like it, but if you're being persecuted for your faith, you're doing something right. That should show you that you're doing the right thing and should take comfort in that because God's pleased with you.

1st Peter 4:12 says: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (ESV)

Matthew 5:10-12 says: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (ESV)

Based on these verses, we see that persecution is going to happen. Just because we're living for God doesn't mean things will be perfect. We're going to be made fun of and get strange looks from time to time. So, yeah; it's going to happen.

Now that we've got those issues out of the way, here's the point: Don't be afraid to speak up and tell others about the gospel! As Christians, we need to feel that urge to want to talk about our faith with everyone (Well, there are some limits. You don't want to force it so much they run away from you), and what a difference God has made in our lives! We need to say these things out of love for other souls.

Visualize this: It's judgment day. Everyone on earth that has ever lived is standing before God waiting for their actions to be weighed and judged. It's your friend's turn. She makes her way up there, and after a minute or two, she starts crying at the top of her lungs; adding to the other group of people's cries to one side of God's throne. Then she looks over at you, screaming, and tears running down her face. “WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME? WHY? DID YOU NOT CARE ENOUGH TO TELL ME?”. This scene is really heartbreaking, isn't it?

I'm sure that every Christian at some point has let opportunities pass to tell their friends about the bible. I know I have...and that's a regret I'll always have to live with. But I'm doing the best I can to learn from my mistakes and not let opportunities slide like I did before. That's kind of why I'm writing these articles. I want to use my experiences, as well as things I've seen happen to others to help other young women be the best faithful members of the church they can.

To wrap this up, you need to speak up, and let others know about God. You never know when the end will come, and there will be no second chances. I hope that the phrase, “Speak now, or forever hold your peace.”, can hold a greater significance to you now. Tomorrow might be too late to tell a loved one about God's love. Please pray that God will help you strive to take opportunities as they are given to you.

God bless,