If we’re outspoken or driven, speaking up might come easy. If, however, we’re reticent, we deprive others and ourselves of something good. Being who God designed us to be is not being selfish, prideful, or uncooperative. It is who others need us to be and an expression of spiritual freedom. Unwise suppression can lead to the following:
- Unnecessary distance from others When I give up my freedom and individuality I can become resentful and offended. Passive aggressive anger may even set in. I’ve seen many couples where a spouse will suppress his/her true desires and then become less affectionate and irritated over unrelated issues (Proverbs 18:9).
- Covering God’s design and purpose I had elderly cousins who had a lovely home with beautiful furnishings. They kept their furniture covered for protection. That may have seemed practical, but we weren’t able to see and enjoy the beauty. When we over-protect ourselves by dismissing and hiding our true desires, we cover the uniqueness and beauty God has given. We also miss out on enriching opportunities (Psalms 139:13-15).
Two tips on handling preferences wisely.
- Discover them.
Some are not obvious. As I consider options in life, those that resonate with a sense of satisfaction probably have a linkage with who I am and what I prefer.
- Express them.
One definition for boldness (Parrhesiazomai, Vines New Testament Dictionary) is freedom to speak. As I boldly declare my desire, I experience freedom and capture the life experiences God has for me. Sometimes it is indeed appropriate to defer personal preferences. A healthy restraint is prompted by the Spirit not by fear. Jesus spoke and lived by what He heard from His Father.
Thank you for sharing in our lives and this ministry. God is bringing restoration to individual lives and families.
Have you experienced the power of speaking up about your preferences? Click here to share your thoughts.
1) Several divided families have reunited.
2) Some who were in “personal ditches” are now ministering to others.