Welcome Today’s post piggybacks a little on yesterday’s discussion of meekness. I feel like my personality fits in both the timid and opinionated categories, but exactly how does that work? Can I be both? Should I display one behavior more than the other? I’m not sure, exactly, but I’m going to explore this topic today, as well as share a recipe for Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Thanks for joining me. Note-I may receive a small compensation from advertisers and affiliate links found on this blog. For further information, please see my terms and disclosure page.
Food For Thought I have some very strong opinions-opinions on everything ranging from education and politics to morals and scripture to sports teams and vacation spots. But don’t most of us have strong opinions? It’s part of what makes up who we are…our beliefs and our preferences. What is different, however, is how people voice their opinions. I often think that some of the “common” beliefs and opinions may actually not be so common. They just happen to be voiced by the loudest and boldest crowds. So how can I express my opinions and beliefs I feel strongly about, while being timid, or meek? Yesterday I shared some definitions of the word meek, and concluded that having meekness does not equal weakness. I did find in some instances, however, that the terms meek and timid can be used interchangeably. I’m striving to be more meek, and often consider myself timid.
I have not always had a timid nature. It gets stronger as I get older, though. I’m not sure if this has happened just because I’m getting older and “wiser” or if our opinions get rejected often enough, we finally stop trying to voice them, or if the era of “political correctness” has hushed some of our opinions because we are afraid to offend anyone. Whatever it is, I know that I get frustrated sometimes because I feel my views are not valued or fairly represented. So, again, I decided to study scripture to see if I could find some answers. I will share a few of the ideas I found during my reading.
First of all, scripture supports us speaking TRUTH, but not necessarily our opinions. Refer to Ephesians 4:14-15. Some of the opinions being shared are the “teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” I would definitely agree with that, but what should I say? In verse 15, it says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” So I can share my opinions, as long as I am speaking in truth and love. Oh, the words we say, hold so much power!
Second, I noticed I am not the only person that has struggled with timidity when speaking about God. In scripture, I found two men that we think of as great teachers and leaders, but had trouble, at least some of the time, expressing their opinions. Moses is an example of this in the book of Exodus when he is called by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses was feeling timid in chapter 4, verse 1, saying “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say the Lord did not appear to you?” Sometimes being timid looks a lot like being scared. I don’t know about you, but I can relate to this feeling. I have often been in situations, even while writing this blog, and thought “what if they don’t believe me?” And I’ve sat in more than one staff or parent meeting while teaching and thought “they aren’t listening to me!” What I was lacking, however, was asking God to be there with me, to make sure He was helping me with my words and demeanor so that others would listen to what I had to say. He was there for Moses (verse 12), and I bet He will be here with me too. Paul is another person that, surprisingly, faced some timid moments. In 2 Corinthians 10:1, he writes “By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you–I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” when away!” He would much rather use a gentle manner for teaching, but he fears that it will not be enough. It might require a more bold, and even opinionated, approach to “demolish arguments and every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God…” (verse 5). So I am reminded again, that while it is good to be meek, sometimes to get the point across, in this case God’s message, you have to be more bold and straightforward.
My final point today, and probably more important, is HOW we share these opinions. Like Paul said in 2 Corinthians, we might need to be bold about our promotion of God and His Word, but all things should be said in a kind and loving manner. “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar” is an old English proverb you may be familiar with. Let’s ignore the fact that no one really wants to catch flies, but the idea is you can attract more people by being sweet (kind) than bitter (demanding and overbearing). I would imagine this is the case with how we share our opinions. I know I’d personally rather listen to someone who is speaking with gentleness, than someone trying to “beat me over the head” with their opinions or beliefs. But what does scripture say about it? I think Colossians 4:6 puts into words better than I can: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Yes, I like that, and I think I have a better understanding now of how I can be both timid, and opinionated.
Today’s Scriptures In addition to the references stated above, I found these two passages about timidity:
1 Thessalonians 5:14 “And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”
Lesson learned: I think I need to start speaking up when it comes to God and His instruction and message for the people!
Today’s Prayer: Our God in Heaven, I ask that You may help us overcome our timidity when it comes to sharing Your word and Your gospel. I ask that my words be truthful, kind, full of grace, and seasoned with salt. I ask that You will help me know the right words to speak and write, both in this blog and in my daily living. Lord, I ask that You help me know when to speak up and be bold, and when it is time to have meekness. We pray for blessings on our nation, our family, and friends. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Today’s Recipe If I were to think of a food that has opinionated flavors, I think I would pick garlic. My husband and I love garlic and I cook with it often. But garlic is a flavor than can either be in-your-face-bold, or have more subtle flavors that enhance other foods. Today I offer a side dish recipe for roasted garlic mashed potatoes. I will admit that I do not usually use whole garlic bulbs. To professional cooks’ chagrin, I like jars of minced garlic. It is so much more convenient in day-to-day cooking to grab the jar out of the fridge and take a tablespoon or so. This minced garlic is also more subtle and I find it to be just right for me and my style of cooking. But for these mashed potatoes, roasting your own garlic is really necessary to get the right flavor. My other note is that I used 3 whole garlic bulbs, not cloves. That’s quite a bit of garlic flavor, and I would not have wanted any more garlic than that for the amount of potatoes I used. My husband said he could easily have handled more garlic, and our daughter said she would have preferred less. So the amount of garlic is going to come down to personal taste. That’s the fun of cooking…playing around with flavors until you get what you like. Enjoy!
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (6-8 servings)
- 3 large garlic bulbs
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 8 medium russet potatoes
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup half-and-half, at room temperature
- additional butter and salt for serving, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove skins and tops from garlic bulbs. Separate cloves from bulbs. Place garlic cloves in the middle of a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and seal up tightly in foil. Place foil on baking sheet and place in oven, roasting for 20-25 minutes; it will smell like roasted garlic when it’s time to take them out and be sure not to burn them (you can’t save burnt garlic!) Allow to cool. Peel, wash, and cube potatoes and place in large pot. Cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. When water is boiling, reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook 20 minutes. While potatoes are cooking, mash garlic cloves with a fork until a paste forms. When potatoes are cooked soft, drain off water and add butter, salt, pepper, garlic paste, and half-and-half. Use a potato masher or mixer to mash potatoes to desired consistency. Serve with extra butter and salt, if desired.
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