Virginia Grounds shares today’s post.
“For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak to men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. ‘We are not trying to please men, but God who tests our hearts.” I Thessalonians 2:3-4
As women in leadership, there are occasions when you will be called on to speak. That may even be your primary responsibility as a teacher. These verses from I Thessalonians give four great points for being an effective speaker. We are reminded in verse 4 that our message is to please God who tests our hearts to be sure we are staying within His guidelines for each message. He has chosen us to speak truth to others and examines our hearts for–
- Pure Motives – Speaking for the purpose of personal gain or recognition is not the purpose God has called us to. As Christian women in leadership, transforming lives for Christ should always be the motive for our message.
- Honest Action – Paul said their message was not for the purpose of tricking the audience into doing anything. As we examine our hearts, is there anything we are saying or doing to manipulate women to our way of thinking whether it is right or wrong.
- True Words – The greatest truth in the world is the Word of God, the Gospel of Christ. Every message we speak should lead to this great truth. The Bible should always be the first textbook we use for every message before we research from other sources.
- Humble Hearts – Our message is to be spoken to please God and not others. We are to speak to be effective in making a difference for Christ in the lives of our audience. But, is our purpose for speaking publicly to receive accolades for a job well done, or because we just love to be on stage, or something else. There is nothing wrong with feeling good when someone says “well done”, or “great message”. We are told to be encouragers to one another. It only becomes a problem when that is our purpose for speaking. Even when we think we are humble, Satan will temp us with the need for accolades. When that happens, as I learned recently, go before the Lord, confess it and seek His forgiveness. Ask Him for a humble heart to serve Him better. He will hear and answer your prayer.
God loves a humble heart. As we go before Him with a humble heart and pure motives, He will fill us with the words of truth for the audience to whom we are to speak. God doesn’t change His message because of what someone wants to hear. He doesn’t manipulate the message with words or actions. God speaks truth and only truth into our hearts for us to share with others. As we keep our focus on Him and His message, He will transform lives.