“You have a voice. And you have God’s permission to use it.
In some communities, certain voices are amplified and elevated while others are erased and suppressed. It can be hard to speak up, especially in the ugliness of social media. Power dynamics keep us silent and marginalized, especially when race, ethnicity, and gender are factors. What can we do about it?” (from book description)
This is the question Kathy Khang tackles in this book. Using biblical examples such as Esther, Moses and Peter, as well as sharing personal stories from herself and others, she looks at some of the reasons why raising our voices can be difficult, and she encourages us and challenges us to speak up, reminding us that our voices have been given to us by God and they are meant to be used!
Too often culture tells us to remain silent. Speaking up, especially about situations of injustice, can be seen as “rocking the boat” or “causing trouble” and many of us have been taught to keep the peace.
At other times we stay silent because we benefit from the status quo and so have a vested interest in maintaining it.
And then there’s the reality that speaking up can be risky. We have no guarantee about how our words will be received and fear of the consequences can cause us to hold back but, as Khang writes, “We will make mistakes whether or not we choose to speak out.”
She highlights the value of different voices and the importance of listening to the voices of people whose culture and experience is different from our own. Raising our voices should never become a competition to see who can shout the loudest. She writes, “part of learning to speak up is encouraging others to do the same.”
She also provides some helpful advice on when and how to speak up, both in real life and online, such as praying, considering your motivation, rehearsing the points you want to make, and being willing to ask questions and listen to others’ perspectives in return.
Questions for discussion or reflection are supplied at the end of the book to help in applying the message of the book to our own situations.
If you’ve ever struggled to speak out then this book is for you! It is a challenging read and a call to action, but also full of encouragement that you have got something important to say and that your voice needs to be heard!
Here are two more of my favourite quotes:
“Being a Jesus-follower, trusting in God’s sovereignty, and believing in our hearts that God is in control, doesn’t absolve us from speaking out or taking action against injustice.”
“Raising your voice is never about creating disruption for disruption’s sake. It’s always about disrupting something in order to bring about change, something new that better reflects the hope and fullness of the gospel and the kingdom of God here on earth as it is in heaven.”
I’ll finish with a video clip. This has no association with the book, but I think it ties in well with the message. It’s a song from Sister Act the Musical which is also entitled “Raise Your Voice.”
I’m grateful to IVP for access to a complementary digital copy of most of this book in exchange for an honest review. I only share books here that I believe will genuinely be beneficial to my readers.
Amazon links are not affiliate links, but simply provided for your convenience.