The other day in Holy Yoga, the passage we meditated on was Acts 4: 31 “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
My Bible is the NIV and the Message so I like to always peek over at The Message version too. Here it is: “While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence.”
What does it mean to you to speak boldly?
Have you ever done it?
Do you do it all the time?
Do you have fearless confidence?
Do you think fearless confidence is a good thing?
Many of us were raised to be “not bold”, to be humble, to be quiet, to be timid. It’s interesting when you really think about words and what they mean. In the Bible, Humble is a good word. So is meek. So is Bold. Hmmm…confused yet?
I have always been confident.
My mom tells me I have courage. I like that.
Bold is good.
Until it’s not.
In preparation for class, I read all of Acts 4. It’s about Peter and John being brought before all of the elders, priests, scholars, important people, “everybody who is anybody”…they are questioning Peter and John, asking them, “Who do you think you are?”
Have you ever been asked that?
Have you ever felt like people were wondering…”Who does she think she is?”
Have you ever asked yourself, “Who do I think I am to do this/say this/be this/try this?”
Brene Brown talks about this when she talks about shame in our society. She says there are two beliefs that usually trip us up when we want to be brave. The first one is that we can’t do it, we are not good enough, smart enough, etc. Once we get past the first one and we believe we can do it (whatever it is), then we start asking ourselves, “Who do I think I am?” She calls these “shame’s universal tapes” that we play out in our minds: “Never good enough” and “Who do you think you are?” But here’s the thing, when we follow Jesus, we know that HE IS GOOD ENOUGH and in Him, we can do all things. Also, we understand that we are forgiven and redeemed and set free so as for shame…well, ain’t nobody got time for that. Amen?
Back to Scripture…Here’s what it says: (bold and underline mine)
4 1-4 While Peter and John were addressing the people, the priests, the chief of the Temple police, and some Sadducees came up, indignant that these upstart apostles were instructing the people and proclaiming that the resurrection from the dead had taken place in Jesus. They arrested them and threw them in jail until morning, for by now it was late in the evening. But many of those who listened had already believed the Message—in round numbers about five thousand!
5-7 The next day a meeting was called in Jerusalem. The rulers, religious leaders, religion scholars, Annas the Chief Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander—everybody who was anybody was there. They stood Peter and John in the middle of the room and grilled them: “Who put you in charge here? What business do you have doing this?”
8-12 With that, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: “Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with you—we have nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the One God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole. Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.”
13-14 They couldn’t take their eyes off them—Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus, but with the man right before them, seeing him standing there so upright—so healed!—what could they say against that?
“They recognized them as companions of Jesus”!!!
Sometimes we think we stand alone against “everybody who is anybody”. WE ARE NEVER ALONE. Sometimes we feel like we don’t know enough, we don’t have enough letters after our name, we aren’t educated enough. JESUS IS ENOUGH SO WE ARE ENOUGH IN HIM. We feel like we “should” be quiet, we “should” be more like so and so, we “should” tow the line, we “should” bow down to the crowds, we “should” not stand out, we “should” not make a scene.
We “should” all over ourselves.
I’m done with all of that.
No more shoulding all over myself.
I have nothing to hide.
I am a companion of Jesus.
©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved