woman in field


“For I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.”

— Luke [21:15]


Frederick Douglass was born a slave in 1818. As a youth he became obsessed with learning to read. Thanks to the wife of his slave owner, he was able to. Later he would read the New Testament to the other slaves, teaching them the Gospel. When his masters discovered this, they broke up his activity and he was sold to another master. Frequently subject to beatings, he desired a different life. A free black woman, Ana, met Frederick and used her life savings to help him escape dressed as a sailor. They moved to New York and were married for over forty years. They had five children. 

Frederick Douglass said, “Right is of no sex—Truth is of no color—God is the Father of us all, and we are all brethren.”

Frederick was not satisfied with just his freedom. He became a leading orator in the anti-slavery movement. His oratory compelled many to turn against the practice. He was universal in his views of human rights. Frederick Douglass said, “Right is of no sex—Truth is of no color—God is the Father of us all, and we are all brethren.” While a great supporter of the anti-slavery movement, he also fought for the right of women to vote and many other humanitarian causes. Later his oratory gave him access to American presidents. He pressed Lincoln to move faster on abolishing slavery. He traveled to Europe to speak about human rights. But many were against him, falsely using the Bible to justify slavery, creating images of slaves as inferior. Frederick Douglass spoke against all this, and is now long remembered, while his adversaries are long forgotten. 

“Truth takes longer to brew, but is always a lasting brew.”

Many times in our business lives we see a different way. Perhaps we see corruption or something that causes harm to our customers. It is in these times that Jesus says he is there to help. He will give us the words to say. Words that seek truth. Words that lead others to see a better way. Words that promote a different view. Speaking these words requires conviction and a sense of love for our opponents. The truth is hard to contradict without opponents indicting themselves. Truth takes longer to brew, but is always a lasting brew. This is Jesus’s promise, that we will have the words. Our hearts and minds have to be ready for the words. Our courage, ready to speak the words. Jesus has the words. We have to ask.

Frederick Douglass was successful in his cause because he was singular in his fight. But his words were of universal freedoms. His words were spoken truthfully and not colored by agenda. His heart, too, was directed universally. Frederick Douglass’s color symbolized a great specific injustice, but his voice became that of all injustice. In our business world injustice exists as well. Maybe not to the degree of slavery or the right to vote. But it does affect our customers and fellow workers.

There is a way to speak the truth. The right words. They exist. Jesus gives us these words. Jesus gives us our love. Combined they create truth and change.


Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman



Where in our lives could we use the words of Jesus?

How do we speak them?

What can become the outcome?