Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thoughts on Psalm 119:46

46 ​​I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings,
​​And will not be ashamed.

Speaking my mind has never been a strength of mine. If there is a controversial subject being discussed, I usually just keep my mouth shut and observe.

But a number of years ago I found myself in a unique and rather uncomfortable situation.

A project I was involved with in college was selected for a conference overseas in the Canary Islands. It was an amazing, “pinch me” kind of experience that I’ll always remember.

One evening I was having supper with several notable people that went on the trip: a professor, the dean of the engineering department, and a Vice President of the university I attended. Also present were three city council women from back home. And me - a fresh college graduate.

Now, it was an election year, and in an apparent effort to break-the-ice (or perhaps an effort to stir up a hornet’s nest) one of the ladies at the table asked who everyone was going to vote for. Everyone at the table groaned, and tried to dissuade her from bringing up such a controversial topic.

Unswayed, she singled out my professor, who was sitting just to my left and asked who he would vote for. A lump came in my throat, and my heart started to race. I knew immediately where this was going. One by one she went around the table clockwise, and one by one everyone gave their answer.

Lastly, it came to my turn. Every single person at the table had given the same answer, and I was about to give a different answer.

So I took a deep breath and said, “he supports abortion - I can't vote for him.”

A few people at the table scoffed, ready to pounce on fresh meat. My professor immediately spoke up, “okay, let's change the subject.” And brought up some trivial topic. I could have hugged him.

It was still very awkward, so I excused myself from the table. As I was walking away, the dean of engineering stopped me and said “Ben, it's very admirable for you to stick to your convictions when everyone at the table was against you.”

I was glad he could appreciate the gravity of the situation. I was about to thank him, when the Vice President chimed in, “yes, even when you're wrong.”

Before I could even process what he said, I looked him right in the eye and I heard these words come out of my mouth: “thank you sir, I'll keep that in mind for when I am wrong.”

I can still picture his face. He just sort of looked up at me, with his mouth hung open, stunned. He didn't have anything else to say to that. So I just went on my way.

You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” Matt 10:18-20

You never know when you might suddenly stand before a governor or a king and be faced with a difficult decision - whether to hold fast to God’s word, or go with the flow in an effort not to rock the boat or look like a fool in other people’s eyes.

But I hope this short story encourages you that when you find yourself before important people - if you choose to stand on God’s word, He is faithful to keep His promises, and He will not leave you ashamed.

​​I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings,
​​And will not be ashamed.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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