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Introducing . . . ?

Jani Sarratt

Jani 2It’s hard to be a Christian in the world today, especially in a non-Christian environment. I go to a secular school where we are required to take a freshman speech class. One of our assignments was to give a formal speech introducing a prominent person. Our teacher told us that we could pick anyone we wanted.

Everyone was talking about whom they were going to introduce—Kenny Chesney and Gwen Stefani just to name a few. I could not think of anyone; so when I got home, I sat at my desk and thought of some possibilities. Then I caught a glimpse of my Bible, which was sitting right beside my desk. Immediately, I knew whom I was going introduce—Jesus.

I worked on my speech all evening and practiced it several times with my mom and dad. They thought it was brilliant, and I felt good about it too. I was so proud of my speech that I told all my friends about it at school the next day. To my surprise, they were not very supportive. They thought it was a stupid idea to introduce Jesus and warned that if I brought my faith into the classroom, I might get an F.

This is my speech:

In honor of this special assembly, we have invited a very prominent speaker to be with us. He is a very powerful man who has accomplished many things in his lifetime. He brought back Lazarus from the dead. He walked on water to calm a storm. With only five fish and two loaves of bread, he fed 5,000 people and had 12 baskets full of leftovers. He has healed many lepers and people who had other diseases.

He currently is living in all of our hearts. He pushes us to be our best every day and guides us along the way. He answers all of our prayers no matter how ridiculous they are are. Today he will be speaking to us about our every day choices. It is a great honor to introduce to you Jesus Christ!

I must admit that I thought several time that day about changing my speech. I knew that religion in school was one of these murky gray areas, and I didn’t want to fail the assignment. On the other hand, I wanted to remain true to my faith and to the most prominent person in my life.

I did not change my topic, which proves to me that I am stronger than I thought. When I got to speech class, the teacher asked me to go first—lucky me. I was so nervous. I prayed through the entire speech—and I didn’t stop praying until class the next day, when I got back my grade. In spite of what my friends had told me, I got an A! That was awesome, but to stand up for my beliefs in front of my classmates was a truly amazing experience!

 

DIG DEEPER

“God gave us the courage to tell you the good news about him, even though many people caused us trouble. God was pleased to trust us with his message. We didn’t speak to please people, but to please God who knows our motives” (1 Thessalonians 2:2b, 4, CEV).

When have you taken a risk to stand up for what you believe when it was not the “cool” thing to do? The next time you find yourself in one of these murky gray area, pray that you might please God rather than people—and trust that God will give you strength.

Jani Sarratt of Franklin, Tennessee, enjoys cheerleading, playing the guitar, hanging out with friends, and spending time with family.

—from devozine (July/August 2006). Copyright © 2006 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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