taking a break from social media this summer. I’m not Twittering. I’m
on only Facebook to see family pictures or cheer on a writer who
submitted a manuscript! But I don’t feel compelled to join any
conversation. Or begin any myself.
Sometime in May, I sensed I was
cyber shouting, Listen to me! No matter how
profound, or wise, witty or chatty I tried to be, the response felt
So, really, just who was I
talking to? No one and everyone? That’s hard to reckon.
For a long time I’ve have it in
my heart to be a Voice and not an Echo. An echo is merely repeating
what’s already been said. A Voice speaks something fresh with a clear
A friend of mine is an Echo. She
likes to pass on tidbits of information, news, facts, and ideas like
they are her own, but she’s only parroting what she heard another say.
The words are weak, without authority or life.
So much of what we do in
society, in the church, in the marketplace echo what others are saying.
We mean well. Good information is worth passing on. But when it becomes
form without substance, we are merely filling the air with idle
chatter. And Jesus says we’ll answer for our all of
The media is notorious for
picking up a sound bite and repeating it without digging for the truth.
What’s an Echo? Saying what’s
already being said. Doing something that’s already being done. Stating
Statistics claim 50 percent of
all marriages end in divorce. So one out of two children is from a
divorced family. Abuse is rampant. Premarital sex has reached the
junior high age. Woundedness abounds.
Hurt and wounded people know
they are in pain. What they need to hear is a clear, distinct Voice of
hope and healing. How do they move beyond their pasts or circumstances
to joy and peace? To the hope of Jesus?
Echoes are empty words. Echoes
fade. Echoes disappear. Echoes leave nothing enduring on the heart.
Echoes draw attention to ourselves.
Voices endure. Voices are words
with substance. Voices leave an imprint on the human heart. Voices draw
attention to Jesus.
Think of a statement someone
made that lives in you to this day. The lingering words came from a
Voice not an Echo.
The first time I heard the
statement “You are God’s favorite one,” my heart exploded. “Really?”
The truth of the statement created it’s own echo, and as I began to
understand the truth, it changed me.
A friend of mine, Stuart, was
praying for a woman and sensed by the Spirit she struggled with
depression. He was about to speak out her condition when the Lord
whispered, “She knows she is depressed. If you tell her that, she’ll
feel vulnerable and exposed. Tell her I want to give her joy.”
her she was depressed
would’ve been an Echo. Telling her God wanted to give her joy was a
Echoes cause us to look inward
and speak of where we’ve been and where we are and offer momentary hope.
Voices cause us to lift up and
look outside ourselves. Voices draw
out our destiny, speak of who we are to become and give us tools to run
so much noise in the world today, how do we become a Voice and not an
1. Take a season to just “be.”
Be still. Shut off outside echoes from the media and Internet. Perhaps
back away from office chatter and complaining. Turn down life’s volume.
2. Believe you can hear God.
When several women won political primaries, I was surprised to tear up
at the news and hear God speak to me about it.
3. Listen and pray. I hear a lot
of things that make no sense to me yet others are repeating it. Other
times, I hear things that so resonate with my heart, I know it’s
something real. I pray over it.
4. Don’t be afraid to say the
hard things. Speak the truth in love and compassion. The story of the
boy and the king with no clothes is timeless. And relevant.
5. Less is more. It’s so easy to
get into a conversation and want to share everything we’ve learned, but
sometimes we need to wait, hold back, and release our words at the
right God moment. Ah, such restraint! (I don’t have it yet, but I’m
working on it. I’d rather impact dozens than none. If I speak to soon,
my words fall to the ground.)
How about you? Do you want to be
a Voice not an Echo? What a great sound the Bride of Christ makes when
she’s speaking from God’s heart and not her own.