Preach The Gospel Always, If Necessary Use Words
I’ll be honest, I contemplated a lot about whether to write this blog or not for fear that it may come off the wrong way or just not convey the point I want, but here we are…in a hotel room typing away. In no particular order, just my thoughts as they come out.
I’m not syndicating this particular blog just to get that out in the open, you will only find it here. I’m not trying to push anything on anyone, just sharing my thoughts.
First of all I want to say I speak pretty regularly at SQL events in the southeast and online. I meet a lot of people and it’s honestly one of the coolest parts of my job. I recently spoke in South Florida at SQL Saturday and as usual I gave out my email address and twitter information. About 10 minutes after my session ended I was out talking to people at the booth I was manning when a gentlemen walked up and introduced himself. I’m pretty terrible with names (guess I get that from my mom or grandmother because growing up more often than not I was called one of my uncles names rather than mine, ah good memories) so I can’t tell you this individual’s name. What he said to me next was the first I heard this at a SQL Saturday. He had looked up my twitter account and read my bio:
“Christian, author, tech geek, music enthusiasts, thrill seeker and all around awesome.”
He simply pointed out that before I put anything else it said “Christian” and that he really liked that. It made me think over the past couple of weeks about my faith. It was random and a great encouragement. It’s on there because it’s part of who I am, nothing else.
I say this because I think that even in our workplaces there is room for our faith. I’m not going to get up to speak about a SQL topic and turn it into a sermon so don’t misinterpret this please. There is an old saying of which the origin is officially unknown: “Preach the gospel always; if necessary use words”
Should I live my life that way; absolutely. Do I always live my life that way; definitely not. No one is perfect and I am far from it. We all say things that don’t show Jesus through us or knock people down rather than build them up. I’m guilty of this just like the next person. But why don’t we let people know we are Christians at work? It’s not something you should hide, nor do you need to hide. There are ways to show Jesus without standing in your cube reading the bible out loud at the office. There is no 10 step program that will follow to be more Christian at work. I just want to make you think. Do you think that you preach Jesus without using words day in and day out? If not why not? The bible doesn’t tell us to spread the gospel except Monday through Friday from 8-5.
There inevitably will be someone that says this isn’t the place for this topic, and work isn’t the place Jesus. I want to close this post out by sharing a story I’ve told many times over the past could of years:
I’m a music fan and I love going to concerts. For a number of years I went to an annual event called Warped Tour. As anyone who has attended this event knows it’s not a Christian concert event. This story takes place the year after a band got on stage and told everyone in the crowd to look at the sun, give it the finger and yell a few choice words. It was also the same year that a wireless microphone cut off in the middle of a song and the lead singer stormed off stage because he thought he was above things going wrong in the middle of a set. Then there are musicians that I gain a new respect for. A very successful band with a lead singer from a former band that was even more successful than his current group. Arguably one of the most successful musicians on the tour that year. When his in ear monitors went out the tech switched it out between songs and after the ensuing song he turned to the tech and said thank you. If anyone had a right to complain it was him. Was that preaching Jesus, maybe not. Is he a Christian, I’m not 100% sure, but it sets a much better example than the previous person.
The same year as the second example above is the real story, a couple of Christian bands happen to be playing the tour that year. Most of them play their sets and move on. This one particular ended their set in a much more unique way. The lead singer began with a simple talk saying exactly what they believe in. I’m sure some people walked away from the stage, but the vast majority stood there and listened. He went on to say that some people may say that Warped Tour is not the place for spreading Christianity, but that was exactly what their band was all about. He wasn’t there to push his faith on anyone, but if anyone had any questions about anything Christianity related he would be more than happy to stick around and talk with them. They then ended their set by playing Amazing Grace. At a secular rock show. And you know what happened? A couple hundred people stood in the Florida heat in the middle of summer and sang along with them. The band, if your interested, was The Almost and the song was Amazing Because It Is.
They had the courage to stand up in front of a couple hundred people and say exactly what they believed in probably one of the more hostile places for such a conversation in the US anyway. So why don’t we just spread Jesus on a daily basis by living our lives differently than some of those around us? You never know when someone who is going through something may read your twitter bio, see your a Christian and strike up a conversation and you could end up changing a life. What do you have to lose?
We can all do better I’m sure. Myself included, I’m by no means preaching. This post is as much for myself as it is the person reading it.
Pastor Eric says something at the end of the service all the time…. “Live your life to make a difference in the lives of others.”
Psalm 115:1 “Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”