It is widely stated that Saint Francis of Assisi wrote “Preach every day. Use words if you must.” I have said many times that I am not a preacher, but I was wrong. I preach every day. I just don’t use words.
But it’s not enough for the people here.
I am not brown. I don’t speak Spanish very well. I don’t have hundreds of years of Panamanian cultural experience to draw on. That’s why we have decided to hire a Panamanian to partner with us. Not to preach words but to be the example that we cannot, because of our background.
So remember, if you are a Christian, you are a disciple, and if you are a disciple, you are a preacher.
It seems it is easy for a preacher of words to become egotistical and self centered. A preacher by example can also become a “know it all” but it seems to be more difficult.
We recently made up a questionnaire for our adult class, and one of the nine questions was; “what is the difference between a Christian and a disciple?’ One of the twelve students answered with what I thought was the correct answer; “There is no difference.” But most of the people had the same idea as I believe do most North Americans – a disciple is a super Christian or one who devotes his life to Matthew 29:19.
We must be very careful that “I” doesn’t get in the Lord’s way. I may believe that I am God’s gift to humanity or the savior of the world, but it’s not true. It’s His vision, His ideas, and His ways that give life. He doesn’t need me. He can use me, but He doesn’t need me.