Preach the Gospel at ALL times.

My dad had a poster on the wall of his 11th grade apologetics Bible classroom. It was a quote from a prominent figure in Christian history, St. Francis of Assisi, and it read,

“Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.”

I happened to think that was pretty darn clever of this saint guy, I committed it to my junior high memory and cited it as my “favorite quote” whenever asked for the next few years. As I understand the quote, Christians should act like a Christian and allow their pure, Christlike lifestyle to be the testimony that draws nonbelievers to Christ.

I have always been told by the Christians in my life who seemed to want to encourage me that the direct result of being a good person will be my friends asking me what’s “different” about me, thus swinging the door of opportunity open wide to share the Gospel, pray with them on the spot, and ship them off to Africa to do missions work. And all you had to do, especially in a place like San Diego, was hold open the door for a handicapped person or carry a little old lady’s groceries across the street instead of dealing drugs at the local middle school, and you were deemed a saint. Those magical interactions with nonbelievers never actually happened to me, but you’d think it’s the easiest thing in the world by the way other Christians talked.

But then I moved to Utah.

Suddenly, I am surrounded by charity volunteers, faithful church potluck attendees, and young adults who all go on two-year missions trips. Being a Christlike human being tends to get lost in the sea of good religious behavior around here, and “preaching the Gospel” with your actions will simply make people admire your apparent devout LDS convictions. Because Mormons truly believe that they belong to just another “Christian denomination,” it consistenly takes me a case of totally humble Christ-speaking-through-me conversation to even establish the fact that I hail from a different religion and worship a different God. How am I supposed to tell them “Jesus loves you” when they already have a version of Jesus in their religion whom they believe loves them too?

Our time is too short to spend loving people and being a good person if people never understand Who makes us that way. I won’t deny St. Francis – As irrelevant as it is to the truth of the Gospel, people tend to disregard everything someone has to say if their actions don’t speak as loud as their words. But if your actions are going to say something, let your words say it too! You can treat AIDS in Africa, you can hand out water to homeless people, and you can counsel pregnant teenagers to your heart’s content, and it will undoubtedly glorify the Lord because He has said that whatever we do for the least of these, we do as unto him. But listen: People need healing for their spiritual sickness as much as they need physical help! It drives me crazy when Christian teams do something wonderful like building homes in China, then leave without uttering the name of Jesus Christ once. We are called to heal the spiritual sickness and fill the spiritual hunger within people! What good does it do to make someone’s life more comfortable on this earth when, once they die, they will suffer eternally? This is of too grave importance to simply put on the back burner. Your life – words, thoughts, and actions – should revolve around Christ and Him crucified to the point where it is apparent to others.

Preach the Gospel at all times with your words and your actions.

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2 thoughts on “Preach the Gospel at ALL times.

  1. Thank you so much for this post Carissa! That was so encouraging to read. God has been teaching me a lot lately about how my words should preach the gospel in addition to the way my actions preach the gospel.

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  2. SO! I was taking a shower the other day and a thought came to me (As all thoughts seem to either come to me when I am in the shower or trying to go to sleep. lol) and I thought.. I better share, since I am in the shower and this thought just magically appeared. =)
    I grew up here in good ‘ol Utah.. and I must say that, yes, there are a lot of ‘Holy’ people here. BUT there are a lot MORE ‘holier than thou’ people here. While growing up and in school I noticed that one thing that Utahn’s don’t seem to receive is Love. In this state it is frowned upon to be Homosexual, Drink and do drugs, have sex without being married and to not attend the ‘right’ church. NOW yes, this is something that us ‘Christians’ do not condone either. HOWEVER we can Love through this. (notice how I am capitolizing the letter L =))
    I always noticed that in school people were either thought down upon or made fun of because of their lifestyle choice. AND I had friends who’s parents would threaten or even kick them out of their homes because of this.
    We as Christians know that EVERYONE struggles with something. Even the most devout Christian has something that they struggle with, even if it is not as obvious as homosexuality, drugs, sex, drink. AND it is our job to Love all people. And by our example to not judge and to be there for our friends/coworkers/aquaintences who may be involved in these things we can show them Christ. We may not push it in their face, but if we are just there being His light, then they will see.. ‘Hey there is something different about her/him.’
    I imagine this is harder to do when you are younger, because the temptation to try something new is always there and it is easier to give into peer pressure. Then you sing the song in your head that I have been telling Issak this week.. ‘Our God is Stronger, Our God is Greater.’ And always pray for His words. =)
    OHH Also.. another thing that I have noticed growing up here in Utah.. Many of the kids I grew up with and/or went to High School with, who were active Mormons and/or had parents who were/are strict to the mormon religion, were the ones who ended up on drugs or who had children out of wedlock or who I would run into at parites (what you didn’t think I was a saint did you?=P) It seems the harder you squeeze someone into something that doesn’t fit the bigger they explode. =/ Kinda sad.
    SO keep in mind, as you are seeing old friends/aquaintances (I can’t spell that word!) That you are HIS light and you may not see it now (it’s not always our place to see Gods work) BUT that if you Love all then you are showing them Him.

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