The end of the movie, The Quiet Place, contains a heartbreaking scene. (If you haven’t seen it yet, be forewarned: spoilers follow!) A father sacrifices his life to save his children. In this fictional world where silence means safety, this dad chooses to use his voice at the ultimate cost to himself. By yelling loudly, he draws the attracted-to-sound monster’s attention away from his children and toward himself. His life ends quickly while his children flee to safety. This emotional scene demonstrates the power of voice.
We have a voice. When we speak, people listen. We’ve been given instruments of influence. Some of us have more influence than others, but we all can leverage our spheres of influence for his kingdom.
We use our voices in many ways. We use them to share the gospel. We use them to shape people’s understanding of issues we’re passionate about. With our voices, we champion causes. We comfort the suffering. We encourage, respond, embolden, warn, inspire and teach. We point people to Christ.
We use our voices with intentionality and wisdom, not just to add to the noise. Not only do we want to add value to the conversation, we want to start new conversations. We want people to know and worship the almighty God. We use our voices to this end.
Your voice is a gift.
All conversation surrounding voice must begin by acknowledging that our voice is a gift from God. His equipping us with our voices has everything to do with his good pleasure and purposes and nothing to do with our own merit. Whatever measure of influence we have is because of him, not because of us.
Our enemy is happy to convince us of our own awesomeness. And we are all too ready to believe him. We are glory stealers by nature. We must fight to remember Paul’s words to the church in Corinth, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). God gives us our voice. This leaves no room for boasting.
And he gives us this gift for a reason. Our voices are unique to us, and God is creative in how he wants to use them to advance his kingdom. Our job is stewardship. We walk through the doors he opens for us. We communicate the message he gives us for each opportunity. We speak up.
We are responsible for using this gift. Remember the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). Our English word, “talent,” meaning special ability, is derived from this parable. The master gave his three servants talents, which he expected them to use. Two servants invested their talents to gain more and the master was pleased. The third servant, out of fear or laziness, refused to do anything with his talent and suffered the displeasure of his master. The master took his talent away and gave it to the two servants who were using their talents.
Your voice is a gift given to you by God. Are you using it?
Use your voice to benefit others.
God has given us the gift of voice and we must use this gift to build up the church (Ephesians 4:12). Your voice, while helpful to many, is specific to you. He gives you credibility to speak into issues based on what he’s taught you and what he’s exposed you to. He shows us things for a purpose. Are you being a good steward of what he’s shown you?
The first time God exposed me to the global orphan crisis, I realized that I couldn’t unsee what he allowed me to see. My awareness was now a part of me. As he began to teach me how to show neighbor love to vulnerable people, I wanted to share my knowledge with others. In grace, he opened my eyes. In response to that grace, I now advocate for his people to join his work among the vulnerable.
What has God exposed you to? What do you know? Maybe it’s grief, trials, parenting, marriage, singleness, adoption, pastoring, biblical exposition or hospitality. God has given you knowledge of and experience in things that will benefit the church. Use your voice to build others up. Encourage, inform, teach and inspire, based on what you know.
We know that God transforms rebels into adopted sons and daughters. Martin Luther said, “We are all mere beggars telling other beggars where to find bread.” With your voice, show others where to find the bread. Use your voice to tell the world about your father.
As good as this is, if we only use our gifts to help others, we fall short of God’s ultimate purpose for our lives.
Use your voice to glorify God.
The first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” Answer: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” God created us to bring him glory (Isaiah 43:7).
We need to be eternally focused. Jonathan Edwards said, “Stamp eternity on my eyeballs.” We use our voices with eternity in mind. When he gives his children gifts, like the gift of voice, we respond in gratitude by using our voices to tell of his greatness. We exalt Christ to all who will listen. We exist for his glory; our voices should too.
Bring God glory by advancing his kingdom. Tell others of his great rescue of rebels. Use your voice to praise him even when he slays you (Job 13:15). Glorify him by boasting in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Use your voice to bless the name of the Lord. Bless him with the stories you tell. Bless him by teaching others his word. Bless him by boasting of his goodness and grace towards you. Glorify him by confessing your sins (James 5:16). Bless his name as you share about your trials and grief. Use your voice to comfort the suffering. Speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves (Proverbs 31:8).
Your voice is powerful. It can be used for good or for evil. I humbly encourage you to think intentionally about how you will use your voice. Be strategic with it. God has given you this gift. Steward this gift by building up the church and bringing glory to our father. Don’t waste it.