Tuesday, September 09, 2014

"Unafraid to Speak"

Joseph John Gurney was unafraid to speak out regarding "the spirit of unbelief which had subtly crept in and was robbing Quakerism of much of its vitality, and even of its saving message." (Williams, pg. 172)

I love how Walter Williams describes Gurney: "Gurney was at heart a true Quaker, careful in conduct, a lover of silent worship, ever eager to sense and obey the Spirit's leading.  He studied the Bible carefully, and restored to almost daily self-examination." (pg. 172) 

Each day he would ask himself questions like these:
Have I this day been guarded in all my conversation, saying not one thing inconsistent with truth, purity, or charity?
Have I felt love toward my neighbor?
Have I done my part towards my family?
Have I been temperate in all respects and refrained from unlawful desires, habits, and anxieties?
Have I been diligent in business?
Have I given full time to effectual study?
Have I admitted any other fear than that of God?
Have I in everything acted, to the best of knowledge, according to the will of God? (Williams, pg. (172)
In a world where political correctness governs the way people think about us, I am drawn to the idea that sometimes, "the truth hurts."  Does speaking Truth, even if offends, mean I am not loving or not "politically correct?"  Honestly, I despise that phrase.  I would much rather use "offensive" versus political correct.

I am not trying to fire anyone up.  I'm trying to get my head and heart around the idea of "How does my not agreeing with you mean I am unloving?"  I have always been one that either stands for what is unpopular or one who stands up for the opposition. 

In reading the self examination questions above, I think these are questions that, for the most part, everyone I know can agree with.  Maybe I am naive. 

I am not saying that we all can answer them the way we hope to, but that they are questions worth asking ourselves at the end of the day. 

In reading through the questions, a few pop out for me, anxieties, any other fear than God, to name two.  I think the next step is to ask ourselves "HOW?"  

How have I guarded my day to consistent with truth, purity, or charity?
How did I show my neighbor that I felt love for him?
How have I done my part for my family?

Thinking along the same lines of my, "Cleaning House" post, I am in a state of discernment and clearness and appreciate your prayers!

I give all the credit for these words to Joseph John Gurney, Walter Williams, and the Light Within me:

Williams, W. (1962). The rich heritage of Quakerism. Barclay Press: Newberg, Oregon.

#Quakers #Friendsmovement #selfexamination #politicallycorrect 

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