Don’t quench it.

 I don’t want to sound like I’m tooting my own horn, but sometimes it’s not easy to publish these posts.

I firmly believe that fear should never stop you from saying what you believe, but it is still tempting to back off and not go there. If you get my drift.

Maybe I’ve mentioned this before, but the word belief is getting to be a misnomer these days. So often “I believe” turns out to really be “I think. I hope. I suspect. It might be true.

To believe something means to be past just thinking it, it means you’ve thought it out till you’re sure it’s true.

That doesn’t automatically make it actually true. But it does make it a lot harder to convince you otherwise.

I find, as an opinionated young person, that people rarely try to convince me I’m wrong, more often they just try to convince me I’m not the only one who’s right. Or that my rightness is no different than their opposing opinion, even if they’re opposites.

I can tell you this, our modern mindset of putting  stigma on absolute truth has made it harder to speak the truth boldly.

I’ve met so few people who even will, and those I have met often go too far in the other way and speak the truth without the grace to see how and when they should say it.

And often there’s a great disgust in the hearts of people who have strong beliefs, because they find people who don’t to be repulsive in their weak wills.

This is just what I have observed.

And I won’t say I don’t face that temptation too. I often think many don’t realize that those of us with strong faith and conviction have our own struggles. They think we enjoy being the way we are and that it gives us a kick to look down on the rest of the world.

But not all of us look down on others, and all of us struggle with the pride problem that conviction can present.

Pride really sneaks up on you. That’s part of the reason a lot of folks started backing down from their positions. They didn’t want to be too proud and judgmental and miss the heart of the whole thing, which is to love you fellow man. At least if you’re Christian.

Actually, the very heart of Christianity is to love God, totally and without rival. Loving people comes next.

I’m not asking you to feel sorry for people of conviction, Christian or no, most of us envy them.

But I notice that had not stopped anyone from telling me to back down a little whenever I get too close to home.

I probably have the tenancy to overdo it, I think most people like me do. But I strongly resist the idea that I should stop.

Here’s the thing; I may very well get carried away, but at least I get carried somewhere.

The Bible says people who don’t have strong conviction are like ships on the water, tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. Doctrine can also mean ideology, philosophy, or mindset. It’s not just Christian doctrine.

People who have  strong beliefs will go somewhere. It could be the wrong place, but at least if you’re gong somewhere, you can also change course. A ship tossed on the waves has no course, it’s at the mercy of the storm. And storms aren’t known for being merciful.

I would rather go too far in boldness than not far enough.

It is true that no one may listen. But that doesn’t make it right to shut up. Check out the book of Jeremiah for that subject. The poor guy never seemed to have any luck with people hearing his prophecies. But he couldn’t’ stop, because the word of God was like a fire in his bones.

Jeremiah was young when he started prophesying. I bet he never had much of a normal life. He probably never got married or had children. He probably never really lived in peace. It was hard for him, but he had to keep speaking God’s word.

That’s the thing about the word of God. Once it’s in you, you can’t keep it to yourself. If you try, the same thing will happen to you that Jeremiah experienced.  It’s stifling.

The Bible says “Do not quench the Spirit of God.”

You don’t even have to be Christian for God to speak through you. Anyone who speaks the truth is, in essence, speaking for God. Which is why the evil in the world hates them; it hates those who claim to have the answer even more.

If I ever get more well known than I am now, I’m pretty sure I’ll be hated, mocked, slandered; and if I wasn’t, I would take that as a bad sign.

If the world loves you, then you probably are too much like it. And that’s never a good thing in my book.

There’s a little anecdote I want to share before I end this:

I just posted about Friendship, and how it’s been confused with homosexuality, to the detriment of us all.

What I didn’t share was how often I struggle with wondering it that’s right. It’s not from any real conviction that it is, it’s because I hear it constantly. Just like you all do, I’m sure.

And when you hear something more than seven times, you start to believe it. Unless you really put up a fight not to.

But just writing out what I actually believed in that post cleared my head. I felt more sure of myself.

You see, it’s stripping me of my identity to keep questioning something when I already know what’s true and what’s a lie. And I know that I know that I know.

It’s not just people who don’t express themselves who forget who they are, it’s mostly people who stand for nothing and so fall for everything.

You will never hear me say certain things are okay when I know they aren’t. And you will never hear me say some things are wrong when I know they aren’t.

Standing up for what you believe in is more than posting it on social media, or blogging it even, it’s being able to look someone in the face and say “No.”

And you will get in trouble for it, at least 5 out of 10 times, if not more often; but it’s worth it to have a clear conscience.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

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