“Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:16, NLT)
“Actions speak louder than words.”
What do you think about that statement? True? False? Somewhere in between?
Around the turn of the 13th Century in an Italian village there lived a Roman Catholic Friar. St. Francis of Assisi, is known for a lot of things. But one statement that is often attributed to him has always stuck with me: “Preach the gospel at all times and, when necessary, use words.”
In a North American church culture where “preaching the gospel” is synonymous with a 30 minute spoken Sunday morning sermon, is it even possible that effective “preaching” can take place any other way.
“Be holy in everything you do, your [conduct and manner of living].” “Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors…they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God.” “It is God’s will that your good lives should silence those who make foolish accusations against you.” “Your godly lives will speak…better than any words.” “If people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.” (1 Peter 1:15; 2:12 &15; 3:1 &16, NLT)
Convinced yet? Here’s more…
“And you know that the way we lived among you was further proof of the truth of our message.” (1 Thessalonians 1:6, NLT)
When talking about sharing the Gospel, make no mistake – “words” speak loudly. The point of these passages is to simply remind us that what we believe will be evident in how we live. And this gives our words credibility when speaking to people about our faith.
So, go “preach the gospel” – the powerful, life-changing, hope-giving good news of Jesus Christ. And, when necessary, use words.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick