People love quotes. I love quotes. To me, a good quote is like a slab of meat that you can just keep on chomping and it just keeps on tasting good.
“A good quote is like a slab of meat that you can just keep on chomping and it just keeps on tasting good.” -Anonymous
See what I did there? People love words between quotation marks. Give it some italics and a huge quotation mark and whatever you said now has validity. Sadly, there are many quotes, expressions, and proverbs that people attribute to Scripture or to Christianity that are complete garbage (see featured image). They come out of mouths quicker than Scripture and are spoken with the authority of Scripture. My favorite is…
“God helps those who help themselves.” -Not Jesus
I mean… come on! There are thirty-one chapters in Proverbs… It’s gotta be in there somewhere. And actually, through the power of Google, I found a verse that is very similar:
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” -Qur’an 13:11
Oh… whoops. Wrong book.
The next quote (which I intended to be the only one I brought up) has an interesting history in my life:
“Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” -St. Francis of Assisi
I remember the first time I heard it. I gave it a hearty, Christian “Mmm.” There’s some meat right there. How powerful. Seriously. Think about it. Live your life in such a way that you communicate that Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected without speaking a single word. Um… Not even Jesus did that.
I loved this quote. How great is it that you can communicate Christ to people without even speaking a word? That right there cuts your chances of awkwardness and persecution down to a very manageable level. Thankfully, a friend opened my eyes to how untrue this really is.
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? … Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Romans 10:14,17
If you want people to see Jesus through your good deeds, serving, and unnatural living and loving, then point them to Jesus (Matthew 5:16, 1 Peter 2:12). The easiest way to do that is to speak Jesus’ name. I can ask to pray for or with someone, but if I don’t tell them who I’m praying to, I could be praying to anything or anybody. I can unnaturally love a unlovable person, but people would probably attribute it to a good heart or a good momma before they tie it to Jesus. You may even presume that people in the South assume you’re a Christian, but that isn’t the case these days. Even if it was the case, that’s a lot of doctrine you’re trying to nonverbally communicate.
SPEAK Jesus’ name! “Gospel” means “good news.” People share news, especially when it’s good. Don’t get caught in the trap of assuming your actions are enough to lead someone to Christ. If you can think back and directly attribute your actions to someone’s salvation, then please share your story with me. Our actions may lead others to see something different in us, but people won’t walk away saved. Don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord (2 Timothy 1:8). Christ must be spoken.
Fun fact: Up until I sat down to write this post, I attributed this quote to St. Francis of Assisi. I know nothing of St. Francis of Assisi, anyway… well, besides that quote. There actually isn’t any record of St. Francis of Assisi ever saying those words and he was actually theologically sound. Who knew?