One of the biggest discussions you might find within a church, small group, or just a bunch sitting around talking is the live vs. talk discussion. Either/Or.
Do we live the gospel?
Do we talk the gospel?
Here is my question: why can’t we have both?
I know the arguments vary.
“I don’t talk very well so I prefer to live it.”
“What good does it do to live it without talking about it?
“I don’t want to be one who doesn’t walk the walk and talk the talk.”
“What good does it do if someone talks it but doesn’t live it?”
You know the variations of the age old argument. I still contend: why can’t we have both?
Bobby mentions the old St. Francis saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary use words.” Three problems come with that. 1) He never said it. 2) He verbalized the Gospel every chance he had. 3) There is no dichotomy between our words and deeds. (p.167)
I have to admit, even though I am an extrovert, I am better at living than speaking. I know what it is. I don’t want to turn people off by “preaching” to them. Case in point: we have had someone visit the church since Easter (and I went to visit them last night). One of the things he said once before was he didn’t know I was a preacher when we met and worked out at the Y years ago. I raised my eyebrows like “is that good or bad?” He said, “No, it was good. You didn’t preach at me. You listened to music, talked and lifted weights. I appreciated that because where I was at that time I would not have taken it well.” Hmmmm.
But somehow I wonder if I failed by not speaking up. I guess what Bobby talked about is true: “By living out the Gospel, we gain credibility. By verbalizing the Gospel, we provide clarity.” (p.168)
It is easy to keep quiet about our faith. When we do speak, speak softly. Show respect. Be clear. But DO SPEAK!
What is your take on this?