He was willing to die for doing what the Lord asked of him. That’s the situation that Jeremiah found himself in in today’s reading. Guided by the Lord, Jeremiah publicly spoke out against the city and the priests and prophets are asking that he be put to death. How often do we have the courage to speak up in public when we see something taking place that’s not right? It’s hard, isn’t it?
When the Lord tells us that what we’re witnessing is wrong and must be corrected, we often feel that it’s not our place to speak on the Lord’s behalf; that someone else will surely come along and take care of things. I know there are times when the Lord tells me to speak up when I see something happening that’s wrong, and instead of acting and doing as the Lord tells me, I stay silent fearful that I will be chastised for saying something or be looked at as being some sort of crackpot. And Jeremiah was willing to be put to death for doing the same thing!
We should all have the courage of Jeremiah to be the voice of the Lord and to cultivate in ourselves a desire to stand up for what’s right, even if there might be consequences for doing so. Yes, it’s hard. Perhaps the best way to nurture this desire to speak for the Lord is to do so with people who we know. When we’re with friends or family, we should stand up for the Lord and exclaim what’s right. We all don’t have the nerve to take a stand in public among complete strangers, even though that’s what Jeremiah did. But speaking up in more familiar surroundings is a good place to start.