I was sorting through some old t-shirts the other day and ran across a shirt I received in College when volunteering at a service project. On the back of the shirt was this quote:
“Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.” Francis Assisi
As Christ followers we must be ready at all times to share and testify to the work God has done in our life. Ready to defend and share our faith through words in a gentle and respectful way (1 Pet. 3:15). It’s a necessary aspect of a living and vibrant salvation.
But we must realize that demonstrating and living the good news of the gospel out, through our actions and attitudes, is also a powerful witness to life transformation. Living as Matthew advocates in Matt. 5:16; in such as way that let’s “your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” is an instrumental part of sharing the gospel as well.
My reflections on this quote lead to 4 unique ways of preaching/living the gospel out through means other than words.
Humility: As Christians we must continually live with the reality that we need the healing of Christ just as much as the other guy. Our sin and brokenness is no less than that of the poor, vulnerable or marginalized. We all are broken and sinful people. May we reach out, love and serve others out of a heart of humility, not a heart of arrogance, expertise or judgment. The Holy Spirit can draw others to Christ through our humble attitudes.
Sacrifice: Showing someone that we care by making a sacrifice of time, money, or energy can speak volumes. Christ, as our example, emptied himself of his glory and humbled himself to serve. He sacrificed much as he entered into our pain, alienation and temptation to proclaim the good news of the gospel. Are we willing to leave the comforts and security of our culture and home to serve others sacrificially? Be generous, sacrifice for others. Not because you have to, but because you want to. I believe the Holy Spirit can draw others to Christ through our sacrificial attitudes.
Vulnerability: How often do we pretend to have our lives in order? By being real and authentic in our relationships with others, God can be glorified. We all have much to learn and the world needs to see Christians as real people struggling to live authentic lives before Christ. Being vulnerable can build trust in relationships. I believe the Holy Spirit can use our vulnerability to reveal God’s perfect love through the trust we build in our relationships.
Joy: Finding Joy is much deeper than mere happiness. Our joy should come from an inward peace and contentment of knowing that God is in control despite life’s ups and downs. God does not call us to find joy or be thankful for all things but rather in all things (1 Thess. 5:18). Even in the midst of the valley’s of life our joy can testify to others about the trust and hope we have in Jesus. I believe the Holy Spirit can draw others to Christ through a genuine joy that radiates from His people.