Arise and Shine: Mark 7:31-37

When was the last time you really used your voice?

I don’t mean in casual conversation. I don’t mean to talk about the upcoming football season. I am not talking about the last teaching you gave at an Edge Night or Life Night.

When was the last time you used your voice to offer hope?

To proclaim the Gospel?

To correct an error?

To defend the truth?

To set captives free?

Our culture is saturated with noise and many voices. The voices conflict, at times. Even within the Catholic world our voices conflict. Just check out the comment box on most Catholic blogs.

In a world where everyone can have a voice, few use it to offer freedom. Few use it to speak actual hope. And we can have that voice – but something happens before we use it. We become mute.

We justify our silence through the fear of disapproval. We tell ourselves that people don’t want to hear about Jesus or our journey with Him. We sacrifice our voice to public opinion. We don’t want to offend. We worry that the teenager we are talking to might be scared away. We worry our friends might walk.

I’m not advocating being rude. We need to be prudent and know when to speak and when to stay silent. But too often we err on the side of silence when our voice is desperately needed. In those moments our voice isn’t our own; our voice is Christ’s voice.

We have this great gift by virtue of our baptism, and it is the gift that can heal. Jesus, by his words and actions, opens the ears and mouth of the deaf man (Mark 7:33-35). And Jesus can free our voice, as well.

Pray daily that God would use your voice for freedom. For hope. For truth. Ask for the prudence to know when to speak and when to stay silent. Ask for the courage to be bold in proclaiming Christ. Ask for the hearts of those that hear your voice not to be deaf, but to be open to receive the good news.

Your voice matters. You were not created for silence. You were created and commissioned to be loud and to proclaim hope. Exercise your right.


Image via FlickrCC 2.0, Logo added 

About the Author

Joel Stepanek

I spent most of my 8th grade year in detention because there wasn’t a dare I wouldn’t accept. But in high school, my youth minister dared me to follow Christ and I haven’t looked back. I love all things Wisconsin, especially the Green Bay Packers. I can probably eat more cheese than you. (Please don’t dare me to prove it.) Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @LT_Jstepanek.

Want to write for Life Teen? Click Here to learn more.