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Spiritual Life: Use your voice to be a light in the world

Micah Smith, Tri-City Herald on

Published in Religious News

A popular television show called "The Voice" features singers who blind audition in front of four expert coaches. These judges then must decide whom to choose -- or not choose -- based solely on the singer's voice. If the coach hears and responds to the voice, he or she hits a button, swinging their chair around to face the singer.

In essence, they are saying, "You have a voice with me, I hear you."

I get that. All of us want to have a voice. All of us want to be heard.

In the spiritual realm, our voices can activate God's creative power. That's called prayer.

But we can also activate our own spirit when we use our voice as God intended -- building lives, making changes, casting vision and leading people. Your voice is a powerful, spiritual piece of equipment. It is a tool and a creative force for either great good or incalculable evil.

For a long time now, much of the world has asked the church to sit down and be quiet, silent and voiceless. In large measure, the church has generally conformed to this. In fact, the church itself has asked the church to sit down and be quiet -- and the church has largely submitted.

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Sometimes we lose our voice because of laryngitis. Most of the time, however, we lose our voice because of social pressure, fear for personal safety or simple apathy. We take refuge in a false sense of security, hoping for "peace in our time."

There is an intriguing story about Jesus to consider in Mark chapter three. He walks into a house of worship where religious leaders are gathered. Almost immediately, Jesus notices a man with a deformed hand. We aren't told if this is the result of an accident or disease, but the man is evidently suffering. Jesus stands the man in front of the gathering.

Looking at the leaders, he asks, "Is it legal as people of faith to do good, or to do evil?"

Jesus waits for them to use their voice to respond to his question. He is hoping to hear a life-giving response from these leaders, but verse four says, "they kept silent."

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