I live 14 stories above two busy crossroads. From time-to-time I will hear the screech of tires… silence… and then IMPACT!
IMPACT! Isn’t that the effect we are to have with the Gospel upon our lost friends. But the IMPACT is to be primarily through the power of example: Salt that penetrates, and light that illuminates from our life to theirs. (Matthew 5:13, 16)
Paul told the Philippians, “I have given you a pattern” by which to live. (Philippians 3:17) That is, he had left an impression, a stamp, or imprint upon them. He had IMPACTED their lives by the power of his godly example.
I am reminded of missionary martyr Jim Elliot’s prayer, “Lord, make my life a crossroads in the life of every person I meet.”
Years ago I played racquetball each week with a professional man who had given scant attention to spiritual matters. He did however pride himself on his self-control. Yet, occasionally in the course of a heated contest he would “lose it” by cursing or throwing his racquet across the court.
I can remember praying on numerous occasions during those intense moments of competition, “Lord, help me to exhibit your love and character on this court. Help me to keep my cool.”
One day, after six months of intense competition, he asked if we might study the Scriptures together. Today he is a committed follower of Christ. Again, the power of example. IMPACT.
QUESTION: If it is true that the non-verbals do in fact speak more loudly than the verbals, what messages are you sending to your lost friends? To your children?
- Messages of anger… greed… pride… and self-centeredness?
- Or of brokenness… kindness, humility, servanthood, and dependence upon God?
How you answer that question spells the difference as to whether you are penetrating and illuminating them with the Gospel, or impeding them from the Gospel.