I recently watched a lovely video by a young woman. She was explaining how she lives, the location, and why she made the somewhat less conventional choices she did. Her reasoning was sound and she brought up some profound insights related to her choice. (This was a secular video, not Christian.)
What made me sad is that she apparently felt compelled to add disclaimers and such throughout the video. It was as if she knew that the things she was saying would be offensive to some people so she was offering an apology in advance. She could already hear people saying, “Well, that’s great for you but not everyone has that option” or “It’s really selfish of you to do such and such when there are so many people who can’t this and that.” And so on.
Frankly, her decision to try to proactively appease the angry and spiteful people she expected to comment on the video’s content marred the production. It was still lovely, but it lost something.
She didn’t need to apologize for anything she said. Everything she said was truthful. (There was nothing remotely political about anything she said.) “These are the choices I’ve made, this is why I’ve made them, and this is the value I see in these choices.” I wish she had spent a few more minutes talking about why she loved the life she had created for herself rather than trying to not offend those addicted to seeking ways to be offended.
Note I didn’t say she spoke “her truth” because that popular way of looking at “truth” is a lie from the pit of hell. There is no such thing as “her truth” or “my truth” or “your truth.” There is the truth. There are ways that people perceive the truth, but the truth is the truth. No one has the right to discredit this young woman and her choices just because they don’t like them or it doesn’t fit the reality they’ve constructed in their head.
We should not apologize for boldly speaking the truth, especially that which is obviously true even though not popular.
Do you apologize for speaking the truth? Why?
Please stop apologizing for speaking the truth. Please stop offering disclaimers when you speak to others.
Should we speak the truth in love? Of course.
But if you are afraid to speak the truth, then ask yourself why.
This young woman felt the need to apologize in advance for her current life choices. Sound, rational choices. Why? If people don’t like what she has to say, they can leave and not watch her videos any longer.
That is my approach here. If someone doesn’t like what I say here, she is free to read somewhere else. I will not stop speaking the truth simply because it might offend someone. In this current culture, this post itself will probably offend someone. Someone will probably be offended by the fact that I said there is no such thing as “my truth” or that we need to not be afraid. That I am pushing Christians to be bold in speaking up for the truth.
What are you apologizing for? What are you avoiding in conversation? How are you censoring yourself?
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
Speaking the truth matters.
Over the weekend, David shared two related articles with me.
Bari Weiss writes in the article Winston Marshall Was ‘Bloody Terrified’ to Quit Mumford & Sons. He Tells Me Why:
Who would willingly walk away from a job they love at the peak of their career?
As you might imagine, that’s the question I’ve been asked more than any other over the past year.
The answer, for me, was that staying at The New York Times would have meant that I had to become a half-version of myself. Staying would mean betraying my deeper values. And that was the sense I got from reading Winston Marshall’s essay.
He writes: “I could remain and continue to self-censor but it will erode my sense of integrity. Gnaw my conscience. I’ve already felt that beginning.”
Winston Marshall writes this in the article Why I’m Leaving Mumford & Sons:
On the eve of his leaving to the West, Solzhenitsyn published an essay titled ‘Live Not By Lies’. I have read it many times now since the incident at the start of March. It still profoundly stirs me.
“And he who is not sufficiently courageous to defend his soul — don’t let him be proud of his ‘progressive’ views, and don’t let him boast that he is an academician or a people’s artist, a distinguished figure or a general. Let him say to himself: I am a part of the herd and a coward. It’s all the same to me as long as I’m fed and kept warm.”
For me to speak about what I’ve learnt to be such a controversial issue will inevitably bring my bandmates more trouble. My love, loyalty and accountability to them cannot permit that. I could remain and continue to self-censor but it will erode my sense of integrity. Gnaw my conscience. I’ve already felt that beginning.
The only way forward for me is to leave the band.
This is why I parted ways with Teachers Pay Teachers. I was no longer willing to participate in the direction they had taken and it became clear there was no chance of that direction changing. By remaining on the platform and helping to fund their company in a small way by selling my products there, I was giving my tacit approval of their pivot to being a strong proponent of anti-racism and critical race theory.
I will not live by lies.
Are you willing to live by lies?
If you aren’t willing to stand up for the truth now, when will you be willing?
Will it be too late?
Speak the truth boldly and stop apologizing.
I cared less about what people thought the older I got. One of the benefits that came with age. I lost followers when I started writing about the changing culture last year. There were no in your face political statements and people still were upset at the more conservative bent I took (they should have known that already). What still shocks me, and it shouldn’t after all of these years, is how many Christians follow popular culture instead of the Truth of the Word.
The past five years were quite revealing both in the culture and in the church. There are Christians who I thought were clear and deep thinkers who succumbed to rabid Trump Derangement Syndrome to the point they cannot even look objectively at clear evidence of truth placed before them. The first few times I saw it clearly in action, it shook me a bit. It shouldn’t have, but it did.
But the past eighteen months or so have truly been stunning, especially in Christian circles. Wheat and chaff. Sheep and goats. Those who I might have been less inclined to trust due to events in the past have been some of the more clear thinking and biblically faithful in the midst of everything. It’s been interesting to watch while also being distressing to see people embrace a false gospel. I pray regularly for God to keep hold of my little family and to hide us in the shadow of His wing. Psalm 91 is my constant companion.
I absolutely love the phrase you used, Sallie – “those addicted to seeking ways to be offended”!!!!!! That is totally it. Right on the money. It is stupid crazy how we feel we need to watch every. single. word. Like Brenda above……the benefit of being older helps in not caring as much as to what others think. We live in a very “woke” area and I refuse to apologize that I am NOT!!!!! : )
Great post. Thank you for putting this out there!
It is an addiction. There is an entire psychology behind it. I can’t remember where I was reading it, but there is more to it than meets the eye.
Plus I think for some of them it’s actually demonic. Anyone who doesn’t realize we are truly in a significant spiritual battle is missing most of what is happening. We need our full armor of God every day.
Good to see you!
A good word
I agree that age helps with the ability to take what others say with a grain of salt, but the things that are going on now on the internet are quite another animal, and I do mean animal. My youngest, who is 21 fell prey to this online abuse and attack, and as Bari Weiss says in the article you link to, it makes it hard to even want to get out of bed in the morning when the haters come for you. This is also, obviously not just something that happens to the beautiful, famous people, as the rise in suicide among the young indicates. Those of us who are older also didn’t have the constant contact of the internet that our younger counterparts have. We could get away from bullies and haters. They couldn’t harass us all evening long when we got home from school.
The fact is that this is the post modern world. Our children and grandchildren aren’t going to have the remotest notion of living an offline life. My prayer is that this hatred eventually devours itself, and my prayer is that they as well as we will be able to continue to stand up and not apologize.