Many people are afraid to speak in front of other people or large groups. We all become shy when presented the opportunity to make a speech. Teachers start trying to break us of this fear by teaching us speech making skills and forcing us to speak in front of class mates while we are in high school and college. I, myself, have this problem. I took several speech classes and I don’t think it has helped me much. I get so nervous that I forget what I have said while I was standing up in front of everyone by the time I have sat back down. The fear comes from the concept that those we are speaking to will reject us or not like us. We place so much importance on everyone liking us. When in reality, especially as Christians, that is not even something we should be worrying about. We, as Christians, are not here to please man, but to please God. Jesus warned his disciples and us, that there will be times when people don’t like us because of representing Him. He warns us that we may even be taken in front of groups of people that want to harm us for our beliefs. Read Matthew 10:16 -20.
16 “Look, I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as harmless as doves. 17 Because people will hand you over to sanhedrins and flog you in their synagogues, beware of them. 18 You will even be brought before governors and kings because of Me, to bear witness to them and to the nations. 19 But when they hand you over, don’t worry about how or what you should speak. For you will be given what to say at that hour, 20 because you are not speaking, but the Spirit of your Father is speaking through you.
Can you imagine being in that situation. How frightening. That makes saying a speech in front of a class not so scary. What would you say in that situation to protect yourself or calm the crowd? The truth is you are there because of your faith. So in reality you are not to be protecting yourself. You are to stand firm and defend your faith, not yourself. In no way should you say anything that would make you look like you are go back on your stand for your Lord. We see examples of that from Stephen and Paul in the Bible. They never defended themselves. They spoke about God right up until the end.
Jesus gives us some great encouragement in this scary passage. He tells us that if we are in that situation we will be given what to speak. The Holy Spirit that lives in us will speak through us. That’s really the best thing that can happen. I know if I were to prepare the speech I would just mess it up and end up looking like a fool. What an encouragement to know that I don’t have to make the speech.