Recently I stumbled over a verse Paul wrote. Why? Because it stopped me in my tracks.
I’ve spent the last year honing my speaking skills, getting coaching, hearing hard feedback, seeking advice. All good stuff, mind you. But then I read this:
“I may be unskilled as a speaker but I am not lacking in knowledge.” 2 Cor 11:6, NLT
Whoa. Wait. Paul was unskilled? The man responsible for a bulk of the New Testament wasn’t an eloquent speaker? He didn’t use the right methods? He stumbled over his words?
Read on in another passage if you don’t believe me:
“When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.
Oh dear Jesus. Help me! While I believe it’s always good to strive for excellence, and I believe that preparing beforehand is an indication of your love for your audience, I cannot turn my back on Paul’s words. I’ve found them to be true this past year. When I let go, got rid of all the speaking critics, and truly laid down my words before the Lord, that’s when His spirit empowered the message. When I fretted about the message, its mechanics and delivery, it thudded.
Have you encountered either scenario?
- A humble person shares a simple testimony and you’re rocked to your core.
- A skilled speaker delivers a canned speech he’s given 25 times. It almost seems like he is performing it.
q4u: What was the most impacting speaker you’ve ever heard? Why?