By Laura Adkins
“Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” This quote, often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, echoes John’s writing that we should not “love with words or tongue but with action and in truth.” One of St. Francis’s many acts of love was giving up his material possessions and encouraging others to follow his example. He traveled throughout Italy preaching the gospel.
Sharing the gospel is an act of love, as is our obedience to Christ’s command to love God by believing in the name of his Son and love others by serving the world.
Sharing the Gospel in Love
The love of God and our communion with him gives us a hope for a life which is greater than ourselves. Christ is hope. We do not share this news with the world because we want to be right and prove our neighbors’ faiths or values as wrong. We are not in the business of judging the faiths or ideas of others. We are in the business of love.
For those of us who believe, who have truly found a new life and a sincere hope in the gospel of the Lord, sharing our faith is an act of love because we want to share with others the hope, joy, and life which we have found in Christ.
Obedience as Love
Mother Theresa of Calcutta was a beautiful example of love in action as well as obedience to Christ and to earthly authorities. After Mother Theresa was called by Christ to begin her ministry to the poor people of Calcutta, she wrote letters to the Archbishop for a year and a half until she was finally granted permission to begin her ministry and be released from her work at the school.
Few people would dispute that Mother Theresa had a close relationship with God. As evidenced by her compassion for the poor, God’s Spirit undoubtedly moved her to share the gospel with the “least of these.” She became a beautiful modern example of love in action.
Laura Adkins lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, Terry. She teaches 6th grade Language Arts at The Summit Country Day School.