Proverbs 31:1-9 – Speak Up!

Read Proverbs 31:1-9

This is good advice from a loving mother to her son, the king. She wants for him to succeed, and her message is meant to help him. Even though we’re not kings, we can glean some wisdom from this as well. Verse 8 spoke to my core, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” There are so many less fortunate people in this world, but my thoughts also go to the children whose voice is often muffled and overlooked.

We shouldn’t just focus on serving the rich and successful. Everyone deserves justice. God’s mercy is extended to all. Why do we think we should handle things differently? Think about this — who is depending on you?

Is it only our duty to open our mouths and fight for the rights of others if we are in positions of authority? It is a good reminder especially for those in power to not take advantage of the power for personal gain. I would say that we are all called to be vigilant for those opportunities we have to open our mouth and speak for those who are weak.

Have you been witness to others being wronged? Consider a child being bullied at school, or a co-worker who takes the heat for a mistake made by another, for the widow next door who gets no attention, an unemployed friend who hasn’t found work in months, a waitress being belittled by a rude customer, and the examples go on and on. People are being oppressed, ridiculed, bullied, and tormented all around us.   

How do we respond? With apathy? With boldness? Do we avoid and look the other way, or do we forge on and speak for those who have no voice? There are everyday opportunities for us to speak up and not look the other way. God sees our hearts and knows our motivations. Sometimes it does seem “easier” to not get involved. I’m as guilty as the next guy. But just because it’s easier doesn’t make it right.

This is one of those situations where it is helpful to ask, “What would Jesus do?” Remember the Canaanite woman’s faith in Matthew 15:21-28? Jesus’ response to the woman with the perfume who wanted to anoint him was another perfect example in Luke 7:36-50. As Jesus hung dying on the cross, his made sure that his own mother would be taken care of. See John 19:25-27.

Take some time today to think about how you interact with others. Do you look for opportunities to speak out on behalf of those who can’t? Who comes to mind as needing you to be their advocate? Pray for God to reveal this to you and give you the boldness to act.

Let’s pray … Lord, forgive me for those times when I have looked the other way. Help me to work on my own selfish heart and being more like you. Wash the fear away of opening my mouth and speaking up when I see injustice around me. Empower me for your service. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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