“Say it with Boldness”
There comes a time when even a little kid may decide he’s had enough. Essentially, that is what happened not long ago on my bus, and even a few thousand years ago on the plains of Judah.
You see, for some reason, a few older elementary children kept aggravating a little kindergarten student named, let’s just say, Bill. Every time Bill would get on the bus, the first words he heard were, “Hey, you got your Beyblades?” Every day, every morning, it was the same question: “You got your Beyblades?” [If you don’t know what “Beyblades” are, just click the word.]
After a while, it started getting on my nerves. It wasn’t so much the constant asking, but the constant trashing of the English language. It was never “do you have,” or “have you got?” No, it was always “you got?” Poor little Bill never made a sound. He would just walk quietly to his seat.
Finally, about the time I was about to say, “Will you illiterate examples of prenatal abuse put a sock in it,” little Bill made his unexpected stand.
Early one morning, shortly after a beautiful sunrise, I drove up to Bill’s house, turned on my warning lights, engaged my brakes, and opened my service doors, causing red to flash. Barely more than 3 feet tall, Bill had to grab hold of the rail as he struggled to make the climb up the staircase, each step a third his size. With each step you could hear the young scholars, those brilliant word-smiths, those elementary-school Einsteins, query from the seats inside, “You got those Bayblades? You got those Beyblades?” Then, when his ascension was complete, he stopped and stood defiantly in the front of the bus, feet shoulder-width apart, fists clinched and placed on his waist. Without any warning, he demanded…
“SHUT THE F*** UP!”
“Whoa!! HO there, little buddy! Dude, what did you just say?!” I said, “Son, you need to sit down…you can’t say stuff like that…I will talk with you in a few minutes.”
I had never heard, nor seen a little child with so much bravado. Like biblical David facing a bus load of mentally-challenged Goliaths, Bill decided he had heard enough. With the confidence that his words would be heard; with the confidence that just the right combination of words would demand respect, he stood on his soap box and demanded attention, never showing a hint of fear or intimidation. Without question he made his point. The other kids were shocked and silenced. Sadly, however, somebody taught him to talk that way.
When you take a stand for what you believe, don’t act cowardly or intimidated. Be strong in your convictions and speak with boldness. Being meek and mild has nothing to do with being milk toast. Cowards do not deserve respect, nor an audience.
Even though little Bill chose to use inappropriate language, his indignation, expressed with boldness, earned him my respect. I couldn’t help but admire him. After becoming weary of taunting words (on and off the bus), he felt it was time to make a stand, which made me think of the story of David, the shepherd boy, who told a 9-foot tall Philistine warrior to “shut up.”
“[Who] is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” – 1 Samuel 17:26b NKJV
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. “Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.” – 1 Samuel 17:45-47 NKJV
Because we live in a post-modern, relativistic society, bold speech is more likely to be labeled “hate speech,” than admired. The reason is that many consider truth to be ever-changing and subjective, not universal. So, when a person dares to speak with boldness what is believed to be an absolute truth, the “Goliaths” may continue to laugh, threaten, and continue in their taunting. Regardless, when Truth is on your side, there is no reason to be ashamed, or afraid.
May we all learn a lesson from little Bill’s outburst. When the time comes to make a stand, do it like you mean it. No matter your size or your age, your education or your status, when you stand for what is right, don’t be afraid to say, “Listen to me!” And when we do feel afraid, there’s nothing wrong with asking for boldness. Pray as the Apostle Paul did, “[That] utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” – Ephesians 6:19-20 KJV