Our God-given work of Kingdom proclamation is a privilege beyond compare. However, it is not without challenges. While some people readily accept the good news of God’s Kingdom, many prove to be like those living in the days of Noah. They “took no note until the flood came and swept them all away,” said Jesus. (Matt. 24:38, 39)
Then there are those who ridicule or oppose us. (2 Pet. 3:3) Opposition may come from those in authority, from schoolmates or workmates, or even from close family members. Add to this our own personal weaknesses, such as shyness and fear of being rejected.
A multitude of factors can make it difficult for us to exercise “freeness of speech” and speak the word of God with “boldness.” (Eph. 6:19, 20) Perseverance in speaking the word of God requires boldness. What can help us to acquire it?
The Greek word translated “boldness” means “outspokenness, frankness, plainness.” That word conveys the idea of “courage, confidence, . . . fearlessness.” Boldness does not mean bluntness or rudeness. (Col. 4:6) While being bold, we also want to be peaceable with all. (Rom. 12:18)
Moreover, as we preach the good news of God’s Kingdom, we need to maintain balance between boldness and tactfulness so that we do not offend someone unintentionally. Indeed, boldness calls for qualities that require much effort to cultivate. This type of boldness does not come from within or from self-reliance.
After the apostle Paul and his companions had been ‘insolently treated in Philippi,’ how did they ‘muster up boldness’ to speak to those in Thessalonica? “By means of our God,” wrote Paul. (Read 1 Thessalonians 2:2.) Jehovah God can dispel our fears and give us similar boldness.
When challenged by “rulers [of the people] and older men and scribes,” the apostles Peter and John said: “Whether it is righteous in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, judge for yourselves.
But as for us, we cannot stop speaking about the things we have seen and heard.” Rather than praying to God for persecution to stop, they and fellow believers made supplication, saying: “Jehovah, give attention to their threats, and grant your slaves to keep speaking your word with all boldness.” (Acts 4:5, 19, 20, 29)
How did Jehovah respond to their request? (Read Acts 4:31.) Jehovah helped them muster up boldness by means of his spirit. God’s spirit can do the same for us. How, then, can we receive God’s spirit and be directed by it in our ministry?