“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Who gives speech to mortals?  Is it not I, the Lord?  Now go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak.’”  Exodus 4:11, 12

“Jesus says, ‘I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.’”  Luke 21:15

Speaking up can be terrifying.  We might say something “stupid” or offend someone.  We may appear weak or nervous as we choke up and stumble over words.  We might lose our place.  Maybe we’re just nervous.  We are proud to live in a nation where freedom of speech is a right, knowing in some countries speaking up can be deadly for those who dare voice an opinion contrary to leadership.  We aren’t proud when free speech turns uncivil and hateful and untrue.  

Words are powerful.  They become a weapon as we tease and taunt, accuse, gossip.  People hear our anger as our voices raise and bite, inciting anger in others … on we go.  Words get us into trouble.  Eve’s words coaxed Adam; Adam’s words blamed Eve; both lied.   

Words also have the power to heal and comfort with good conversation, a kind word, an overdue phone call; with a confession and saying “I’m sorry”; with saying “I love you.”  

God provided Moses with a spokesperson; and God provides us with the Holy Spirit to give us the words and courage to tell the story of God’s grace and love.  Sometimes the words don’t come.  As the saying goes “actions speak louder than words”.  We pray the Holy Spirit living in us will motivate and encourage us to act with compassion and love.  

Lord, be “with my mouth” and teach me what and how to speak.  Give me courage to proclaim your love and confess my faith.   Let my mouth be kind and gentle and uplifting.  Remind me that you are with me everywhere.  Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight.  Amen  

Verla Olson