Last night I saw a tweet from Rick Warren that really struck me. He wrote: “Example alone is never enough to tell the gospel. Even Jesus had to use words and he was a perfect example! Don’t wimp out in fear.”
This struck me for a couple of reasons. First, I have been there. It’s easy to say “I’m going to set an example with my life” and thus absolve myself of any responsibility to speak to people about Jesus. It’s particularly easy to do this because of course the example we set is important. So the excuse can seem like it is legit. But it’s still just that – an excuse.
Honestly I have even done it when actually talking to people before. I recall an opportunity I had on a plane once to talk to a lady about the importance of following Jesus, but instead I just invited her to church. It was easier to invite her to visit the church I go to than to directly talk to her about being faithful to the gospel of Christ. When it came down to it, I still wimped out.
So here’s my question- why is it so easy to wimp out? If we claim that Jesus Christ is the only way to a full, joyful, abundant life filled with hope and love, and that those who are not faithful to the gospel will be eternally separated from the God who is the source of all of that, how is it that we can so easily avoid being somewhat confrontational about the gospel? Why is it so easy to lose sight of the fact that God has placed the blessing and the burden of spreading the gospel upon his people? And perhaps the more important question – what can be done to change this?
It certainly needs to change. If it doesn’t, perhaps we already know the answer to Jesus’ question: “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8)