Living Out Your Faith

Does our testimony about Christ have to be verbal? Or can it be lived out?

There’s a famous quote often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi which says: “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.”

There’s a lot of wisdom in that idea, but too often we go to one extreme or the other: we’re either so vocal about Jesus that we drown out other concerns or stumbling blocks to faith, making those who don’t believe feel uncared-for, or we try to be as “worldly” as possible, so as to blend in and not attract attention.

I just found this commentary today that made me think about where my testimony lands on the spectrum, and Brent Kunkle asserts that we should be talking less and listening more to those who have yet to come to faith in Christ. He says that talking through their concerns not only hones and perfects our evangelical approach, but helps them in their search for truth.

Give it a read, and ask yourself, am I talking too much or letting God speak through my life?

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  1. dmorse2525 said:

    I just want to ask. Where do you get your patterns of evangelism? One isolated quote from Francis of Assisi, or from the Bible, you know, that book that governs our lives? It is impossible to say that we need to be more lifestyle evangelists then we already are. Where did Jesus or Paul go where they did not share the gospel verbally. NOWHERE! So, were they the “too vocal” people that you mentioned? I think not. It comes down to this, as they verbalized the gospel, you saw their care in their manners and actions, yet those manners never overrode the driving principle behind each one’s life (to provide the gospel, Jesus– and to preach the gospel, Paul). This whole “talk less” notion is not Scriptural. The Bible does not say, “How shall they believe in whom who they have not been heard out about, how should they be heard out unless someone listen.” No, my Bible, that book we talked about at the beginning of the post, says, “How shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard. How shall they hear unless they be told.” Guess what… to hear a message, it needs to be spoken. I can’t hear your lifestyle. In this case, words speak louder than actions. Why? Because the gospel isn’t our words but the convicting words of God Himself. -Coffeeshop Christian http://coffeeshopchristian.wordpress.com

    March 28, 2010
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  2. said:

    Hey Coffeeshop Christian – Thanks so much for your feedback! I apologize for any misunderstanding… I actually totally agree with you that the Gospel needs to be spoken about, written about, heard about. My point was that too often we don’t take the time to understand where non-believers are coming from, and instead come blasting out of the gate with Evangelism 101 instead of being an empathic listener and friend. In my own life, I’ve seen the value of holding my tongue at first and allowing casual references to God or the absence of certain behaviors to spark a curiosity in my unbelieving friends – one that leads to much more fruitful discussions about faith than if I had rushed the conversation and left them feeling like a proselytizing tool instead of a loved and valued person. That said, if you feel called to speak up sooner, I definitely do not want to be one to cause you to stumble! I think that we all have different gifts – perhaps yours is the ability to share the Gospel on first meeting without driving people away – if so, well done!

    March 29, 2010
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  3. dmorse2525 said:

    I’m sorry if I came across as harsh as well. That wasn’t my intention, but felt that I had to be frank if that was really what was being said. I appreciate your comments and I agree with your reasoning in your response, my only caution to this is that, if we’re honest, we don’t know when that persons last breath will be, and the natural man, dead in his trespasses and sins, is not prone to bring up a conversation about Christ much less the gospel… that is, quickly at least. Maybe he or she will, but I don’t think we can call it the norm. Therefore, I believe it most Scriptural to present the Gospel as soon as possible (with the right attitude of course) because when done correctly I think it’s better that we’ve at least given the opportunity for them to respond, instead of having that “blood on our hands” if we hesitated for days, weeks, or months, and their soul slipped into eternity. I hope you understand where I’m coming from. -Coffeeshop Christian http://coffeeshopchristian.wordpress.com

    March 29, 2010
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