taking the words of Jesus seriously

EDITOR’S NOTE: Throughout October, we’re engaging in an online book study of Kathy Khang’s Raise Your Voice: Why We Stay Silent and How We Speak Up. Along the way, we’ll offer a reflection based on our readings and discussion. Follow along as we reflect on Chapters 2 & 3 this week.

We are continually searching for our identity. For some, it can be like a never-ending Ferris wheel. For many, it’s an arduous journey to find the core of who they are and how God has wired them to participate in the journey. What we do know is that God created us humans with the ability to communicate and connect with one another. We are made in the image of God (imago Dei) according to Genesis 1, and God has given us an identity and a voice.

As Kathy Khang so beautifully states, “Our voice, our influence and interaction with people and the world around us is embodied through our words and actions. When we understand our voice, we echo God’s character and good news.”

The voice God has given us is meticulously intertwined with our identity in a beautifully choreographed dance that brings life to those around us in a way that only we can share.

“Our voice is meant to be and bring good news,” Khang declares.

The voice God has given each of us is unique for every individual from every social location, race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual identity. This diversity of voices allows us all to speak God’s truth in many different ways and to many different communities all over the world. Our unique identity and journey gives us our story and allows us to be a voice for good in our community. Only you can share your story with your unique God-given voice.

But this journey will require us to learn how to speak from our soul, out of our transforming self. Learning to speak a new language takes time. It’s a process and one that will need to be developed not just verbally, but also through action.

“How will the world know we are Christians,” the author asks, “if our love is just a feeling and never compels us into action?”

In the book of James, we see that it takes more than just having faith. We must put that faith into action, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead” (James 2:14).

We need to search deep and know who we are and who we are not. Learning to use your voice encapsulates so many wonderful and unique things about you. The things that drive you each morning, the things that keep you up at night. What makes you angry and what gives you hope? As Khang asks, “What people, problems, dreams, and values are near and dear to your heart? Run towards those things, they are your wheelhouse.”

Speaking up will require significant risk at times, and learning to use your voice can be scary. However, remember it’s the voice God has given you and the story only you can tell. You must speak up. If not you, then who else will?

Read the other reflections in this series:

About The Author


Jason Millwood is a long-time resident of Tampa, FL, where he currently works as a Software Developer and a lay minister at Grace Family Church. In addition to his full-time job and church ministry, he is also a Master of Social Work student at Sacred Heart University.

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