Has anyone else gone through a phase of thinking:
o "Boy I hope I say the right thing at the right time."
o "I hope I give the right answer.”
o “I really don't want to give the wrong one and affect this person's view of me."
I have said (and sometimes still say) things like this in my head, fearing that what I have to say is “the wrong thing” or “the wrong answer.”
If you do this too, then...
I have often heard: "What other people think or say about you doesn't matter. Be you!" But it's easy to forget to apply this message to our own lives.
I’ll lose sleep over giving “the right answer” to a question from my parent, teacher, friend, etc. asking myself, "What if I say the wrong thing? What if I don't give them the answer they're wanting to hear?" only to discover that they just wanted my best answer, not "the right answer."
Here are the lies we believe when we worry about saying what others want to hear:
o My thoughts and opinions don't matter.
o I'm not smart.
o What people want to hear is much more important than the truth that needs to be shared.
That last point is important, because it’s a HUGE trap we can fall into if we're not careful.
The Pharisees fell for that trap: “They do all their deeds to be seen by others” (Matthew 23:5a, ESV). They walked around preaching the Law, but they never worried about speaking the truth. It’s no surprise that the Pharisees were angry and offended when Jesus corrected them, speaking the truth in love:
“Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.’ Then the disciples came to him and asked, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?’ He replied, ‘Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit’” (Matthew 15: 10-13, NIV).
Jesus never stopped speaking the truth just because the Pharisees didn't want to hear it or because they thought it was the wrong thing to say. He cares a lot about what each and every one of us has in our hearts and on our mouths—we just have to be careful that it won’t defile us and our audiences.
You see, we're not always going to be right when we speak, but we're much better off when we focus on giving our best answers and speaking the truth in love.
Read this carefully:
You shouldn't have to worry about giving "the right answer." Give your best answer. And if you're wrong, then accept correction with grace.
Here is the truth that fights with the lies you’ve been believing:
o Your opinions DO matter.
o You ARE important.
o You CAN share what you think and what is true without having to worry that people will think any less of you.
Look for the people in your life who:
o love you for your opinions,
o encourage you to speak out the truth,
o and lovingly correct you when you're wrong.
The people who aren't helping you towards Christ will shut you down for speaking the truth and sharing what's on your heart.
Overall, just do your best and be your best. Never stop sharing what's on your heart.