Speak Up For Yourself
Updated: Aug 6, 2020
"Open your mouth..." Proverbs 31:9
Sometimes it can be very easy for me to advocate for others and not myself.
Can you relate?
Do you find it easier to speak up for those who are marginalized, or without a voice? Those who may be sick or emotionally wounded; yet when it comes to you speaking or advocating for your needs, whether they be emotional or physical, you find yourself mute or tight-lipped.
Pride and fear are two common sources of why I don't open up my mouth and communicate my needs as I should.
There have been instances in my life where I have had a need. Such as a need for gas in my tank, or food in my refrigerator, and because of pride I have kept my mouth closed. I failed to articulate my needs to friends or family because I didn't want them to know that I had needs. How crazy is that?
Then there have been times where I have been due some type of compensation and didn't receive it, because the church, organization or individual, assumed I would lend my services for free and I refused to stand up for myself and express my needs and expectations beforehand.
Have I mentioned I don't like conflict?
Have I mentioned that it makes me uncomfortable to speak up for ME? After all, shouldn't people just be able to read my mind and assume that I have needs just as they do?
Unfortunately, this is not the way the world works, which is why the story of Zelophehad's daughters is so fascinating.
In Numbers 27:1-11 we learn about five daughters who are willing to rock the boat and status quo, by advocating for their inheritance. They use their feminine voices to speak loudly about how they should receive their deceased father's land, even though the custom is to distribute the land to the next male relative.
In this instance, the five sisters aren't advocating for the blind man around the corner. They aren't waving a white flag for the orphan children in the community, or the hungry widow in the neighborhood. (Although, I am sure they have probably advocated for others since they are so eloquent in doing so for themselves) -- they are indeed in this instance, speaking up for themselves. They are requesting what is due to them. The land inherited from their father.
The leaders discuss this among themselves. Moses even prays about this and God tells him that the daughters are correct, they should receive the land. Zelophehad's daughters obtained what was due to them because they opened their mouths and asked!
Sometimes it easy to offset the responsibility to God instead of using our God-given voices to speak up for ourselves. How many times have you shrugged your shoulders and said, "Well, God will take care of it" when overlooked, passed over, or disregarded?
Yes, God will take care of it, and perhaps He will take care of it by you opening your mouth and speaking up for yourself in a loving, firm way.
We honor God when we lovingly share what is on our hearts. We give Him glory when we are true to ourselves and don't allow ourselves to be run over and taken advantage of by others. Yes, there are times when we really need to let God step in and fight for us in specific instances and situations, but I pray for you to understand my heart behind this message: There are times when you and I simply need to open our mouths and make our requests known like Zelophehad's daughters. My prayer is that we never miss out on any blessings or opportunities simply because we are too prideful or afraid to open our mouths.
God, help me to resist pride and fear when it comes to me opening my mouth. Give me the courage to speak up and the discernment to know when to open my mouth or keep it closed. Give me peace, clarity, and strength. Help me to always be an advocate for You and the things of You. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Hi, my name is Kacie Starr Long. I am an author, speaker and I love to use my voice to point people to Jesus. When I'm not writing, I'm either working out at Orange Theory Fitness or sewing. God delivered me from food addiction and I have a sewing ministry for women who have been previously incarcerated and at-risk teens. I am the proud wife to Alfred T. Long, Sr and together we lead a non-profit that serves prisoners and their families. Connect with me at www.InspiredOverflow.com and via my YouTube page for more daily Christian teachings and encouragement.