Wednesday, 08 August 2012
I tend to think that most preaching and Bible quoting is a waste of time if the person doing the deed does not bring his or her own humanity into the mix. Pounding on the Bible, quotation-jumping and finger-pointing can often be a diversion that is shared by one clique speaking against another.
My sister Jane, who is a very caring Christian and does a great deal of work with addicts as well as with women who have been abused, once asked me this question: "Mark do you think Jesus is coming soon?" It is a good question. I said, "No, because the Gospel has yet to be preached." By that I don't mean it literally of course, but I am not sure the Gospel is as yet understood by Christians, and of course I am smack in the middle of that statement, for not only do I not live the message, I am still seeking to understand it.
However I think Jane understands the message of the Gospel better than me. From what she says and from what I have heard from others, she does not preach -- she shares. She is also honest about her own struggles and failures. In other words she has humility; the ability to understand the truth about herself and is not afraid of that reality.
Is she perfect? Does she fail? I am sure she does; failures are just as important as successes, for it is there that we learn true compassion which leads also to empathy.
What is the difference between preaching and sharing the Gospel? When have you shared the Gospel, and when have you preached it? Which do you think is more effective? How does sharing your personal story help when you are sharing the Gospel?