I came into the office the other day to discover a megaphone sitting on my desk. To this day, I have no idea how it got there, or why someone thought it necessary to provide me with such an item, but it got me thinking. If I knew my voice was going to be heard, what would I choose to say?
I’m not going to lie to you, the first thought that came to my mind was to use it to announce when I required a cup of tea and/or some form of edible snack. Once the sensible half of my brain dismissed that as a foolish idea, I thought about using it to begin important and controversial discussions in the office: Coke or Pepsi? Tea or coffee? Jaffa Cake: Cake or biscuit?
Then I realised – actually, this is a serious question. If we knew our voice was going to be heard, what would we choose to say?
Whether we like it or not, we have a voice. We have an audience. We may not have a megaphone, but we have social media, Twitter and Facebook followers, and, ultimately, the freedom of speech.
But do we always use it wisely? I know I don’t – over the last few days most of my tweets involved complaining about the amount of Latin in my brother’s graduation service or extolling the virtues of woolly socks and homemade chocolate brownies. No matter how amusing such things may be, they are not of massive significance.
But there a things going on in the world that are of massive significance. My brother’s graduation service may have had an extortionate amount of Latin in it, but while I was sitting, pretending to be interested, another family member of mine was being tortured in North Korea. And another was forced to leave their home in Iraq. And another was held in a shipping container in the boiling heat in Eritrea for refusing to recant their faith. And I chose to moan about the Latin. Suddenly the way in which I chose to use my voice seems foolish and insignificant.
The body of Christ is being persecuted across the world. Tortured, imprisoned and killed for following the same God as us. For loving Jesus and proclaiming Him to be Lord and Saviour, just as we do.
If you knew your voice was going to be heard, what would you choose to say?
Our brothers and sisters around the globe face daily beatings and interrogations, overwhelming fear and secret meetings, hushed prayers and silent worship. Here, in contrast, we have hundreds, maybe thousands of twitter followers and Facebook friends, blogs on which we can freely post our thoughts without fear of retribution (apart from the occasional random internet troll), and the ability to write and petition our government to change things.
In contrast to the millions of persecuted Christians across the world, we have a voice. So why aren’t we using it?
‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy’ – Proverbs 31:8-9
Stop, and think for a moment. Think of the answer to this simple question: If you knew your voice was going to be heard, what would you choose to say?
And now, answer me this: what’s stopping you from saying it?
Go. Speak up and speak out. Be the voice to the voiceless. Learn about the plight of our brothers and sisters across the world, and tell those around you about it as if it were your own flesh and blood suffering. Don’t be afraid of using the freedom God has given you, but use it to strengthen His church and further His Kingdom. Because, in the end, that is the best use of your voice you could ever find.