A mouth to the slow of speech

This is a testimony about saying thanksgiving grace, btw.

I dread speaking publicly.

I can speak with a decent volume (even though it may not be dynamic), but the flow of content is often choppy. In the past, I blank out in the middle of speaking and proceed to say something very generic or butchered. I would stutter, say words that don't fit into the sentence or just be silent. One time, during Bible study, I was sharing something and I blanked out, stopped talking and everyone sat there in awkward silence.

Today, I was assigned to say thanksgiving grace in front of the congregation and I was nervous. In the past, I would wing it, write stuff down or repeatedly run through it in my head. I usually like to say something unique. However, this time I took a different approach.

During the sermon, I was preoccupied with what I would say; I forced myself to pay attention to the sermon. During the final prayer, I prayed about saying grace. I told God that I was nervous because I am a terrible public speaker. But, why was I nervous? The answer was obvious: I didn't want to look incompetent in front of the congregation. I had the wrong mentality, so there's no way God will work through me. I was doing this for myself, instead of doing it for God. So, I asked God to clear my mind. I told God that I was not going to do this for myself, but I will do this only to glorify God, to serve God. All God wants is sincerity. I must be sincerely thanking God; anything less is a worthless offering. I asked God to erase everything I've been thinking about and that I will solely rely on Him to sincerely give thanks to Him.

For the rest of prayer, I prayed about other things. Prayer ended. I grabbed a seat hidden in the corner in the front. I stopped thinking about what I would say. Announcements were quick. Then, it was time for me to go up. Brother Jordan stood there to interpret into Chinese. So, I started speaking. Generally, I believe I said what most others would say, but thank God, I was able to be sincere about each statement, being thankful for the warmth, the food, the sermon, the love of the "servants," the Sabbath rest. And, by God's grace, I did not stutter, have awkward silences or have an awkward combination of words..I think. =)

God taught me a lesson through this experience.
  1. I need to be sincere when I speak, whether I'm saying thanksgiving grace, sharing something during a Bible study, talking to other brothers and sisters, teaching the RE students, adding insight to a discussion or (hopefully, one day) speaking on the pulpit. Deep down inside, you must truly believe and ideally, have experienced, what you say.
  2. Additionally, when doing any sort of work for God, it must solely be for Him and not to feed my pride. 
  3. I must rely on Him to finish the work.
Overall, today was a great and much-needed Sabbath. Good sermons, good prayers, good fellowship.

May all glory be to God, always.