Serving a Loud World with a Quiet Life

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How do you serve a loud world, yet live a quiet life? The basis of this book is inspired by 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12. Christians can live such impressive lives that words become unnecessary and quiet evangelism can be the result. Read these important words to find the answer.

Contents

Introduction

From 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, we will draw three greatly under-emphasized, God-sanctioned keys to winning the world for Christ:

1. Be Quiet!
2. Mind Your Own Business!
3. Get to Work!

Important Warnings

Suggestions

Book Introduction

I was hungry and the church formed a committee to discuss my hunger.
I am still hungry.

I was sick and the church put my name in the bulletin.
I am still sick.

I was naked and the church gave me their discarded outfits.
I am still naked.

I was stranded and the church gave me money for a meal and motel.
I am still stranded.

I was discouraged and the church mailed me a brochure on discouragement.
I am still discouraged.

I was broken and the church told me to come forward and sit on the front pew.
I am still broken.

Years passed and I met a man.

I was still hungry, but this man took me home and taught me how to cook.
I am no longer hungry.

I was still sick, but this man stayed by my bed until I was well.
I am no longer sick.

I was still naked, but this man gave me the very clothes that he was wearing.
I am no longer naked.

I was still stranded, but this man invited me home and let me sleep in his bed.
I am no longer stranded.

I was still discouraged, but this man pulled me into his arms so we could cry.
I am no longer discouraged.

I was still broken, but this man put his arm around my shoulder and showed me a better way.
I am no longer broken.

My heart is flooded with emotions.
No longer do I feel hungry, sick, naked, stranded, dis- couraged or broken.
I needed more than rhetoric, I needed a relationship.

I asked the man if he was Jesus.
He grinned from ear to ear.
“No,” he said with obvious delight, “but one day I hope to be like Him!”

Some time ago, I preached from a rather interesting text about evangelism. It challenged me because it commands almost exactly the opposite approach that many Christians are taught to use.

In 1 Thessalonians 4:12, the apostle Paul tells his readers that if they will live out this odd approach, they will actually “win the respect of outsiders”. Wow! Respect, the first and most important step to any evangelistic approach. I’m interested!

Notice the entire text:

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV) “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, [12] so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”

I have to admit that this is not the approach I am used to! I thought when Jesus said, “Go into all the world”, He expected us to arm ourselves with a well rehearsed speech about salvation. I thought I was supposed to attack sin and confront the lost.

Before launching into this discussion of quiet evangelism, let me address one point that my critics are sure to bring up. Please understand that the quiet approach is not the only approach validated by Scripture. Christ certainly used an in-your-face approach when He cleared the Temple and called the Scribes and Pharisees a bunch of snakes. Peter wasn’t very quiet when he con- demned Simon the sorcerer and told him that his money would perish with him. And Paul didn’t exactly avoid confrontation when he said that he wished the false teachers would just go ahead and emasculate themselves.

So what are we to conclude? Quiet or aggressive? To which lifestyle are we called?

I would like to suggest that every Christian is called to be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16, NIV) Sometimes the direct confrontational approach is necessary. But for daily living (see the passage, verse 12), Christians are called to be quiet people with a gentle spirit. Paul says the evidence of a Christian life is dominated by the quiet fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

For most of my life, it seems the Christian community has more often opted for the bullhorn than they have the quiet life. We have grown addicted to the adrenaline rush that is brought on by confrontation and debate. Consider the results. Christianity is on the decline and our children are deserting the church at alarming numbers. Perhaps it is time for us to consider a more balanced approach. Perhaps it is time to yell a little less and live a little more quietly.

The quiet life is powerful! The quiet life is commanded by God! Why do we not hear more about this evangelistic approach? Why aren’t our Christian schools teaching it with more emphasis? Why aren’t more soul winning experts writing about it with more enthusiasm?

I don’t know the answer, but I do know that the importance of this approach has been overlooked for too long! It is time to reexamine the evangelistic power of a quiet life.

So, here we go!

From this passage (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12), we will draw three greatly under-emphasized, God-sanctioned keys to winning the world for Christ:

1. Be Quiet!
2. Mind Your Own Business!
3. Get to Work!

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