My good friends will know that I'm not too worried about just saying things how they are. I mean, why use fifty words when four will make the message clear? 'That film was rubbish', 'Get on with it' or 'I don't want to' for example. Some people might think it impolite to be so direct, but sometimes I think it can be just as unhelpful to scoot around the edges and never really say anything. So I was encouraged the other day when I read in Mark 8:32, 'He spoke plainly about this'. Jesus also got straight to the point. For someone known for (among other things) being a great teacher, Jesus wasn't all that eloquent. He didn't use fancy language and complexly constructed sentences, instead he used everyday words and pictures and made his points clearly.
But I was also challenged, because in this particular context, Jesus was speaking plainly about being rejected and killed before rising again. How ready am I to speak bluntly about what I believe to be the most important message of all? Will I scoot round the fact that Jesus didn't promise an easy ride as a Christian, but instead asked us to daily die to ourselves and our sinful nature? What about repentance - do I pretend that we don't need to change, when actually Jesus thought sin mattered enough to die for it?
I'm not saying don't be sensitive and compassionate as you share the gospel, but I for one want to be able to share with Paul as he said to Timothy, 'But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth'. (2Timothy4:17), where the 'lion's mouth' is not speaking up about Jesus. How glorious it would be to stand before the throne with that confidence.