Have you ever caught yourself saying something that you don’t actually believe yourself? I thought so. I definitely have.
There are a lot of lessons I’ve been learning as the weeks at Fields (my college Bible study group) roll on. But this is one of the biggest (so far) :
Come to terms with your words
Not very profound, I know. But I wish somebody had slapped me over the head with this wisdom-gem before I had regular appointments with something called “the heat of the moment” (i.e., leading others my age in waters much deeper than I often feel capable of). Ask yourself, “am I okay with saying every single word in my manuscript/outline/presentation? Do I believe in it?” Come to terms with what you’re going to explain and proclaim. Think, with a deliberateness you perhaps may not be familiar, over the message you intend to convey to listeners.
Let me be clear, this is not just about “saving face.” I’m convinced that failure is actually a means of grace. I’m going to do things I wish I hadn’t, and that’s okay. You will as well. But consider your task as a communicator (in whatever context you are in) and the weight of the task: You (and I) intend to challenge and convince others with truth-claims.
This necessitates our belief in the heralded message. Do yourself and your hearers a favor, more, respect them, and come to terms with your words.