My friend who I mentioned at the start of this blog last night read it and was surprised. He said that he wasn’t used to getting praises like that. I have this habit that I try to from time to time thank the important people in my life and if you can do so publicly, well that’s all the better then.
I told him then a saying that I understand to be from Martin Luther. It is that we should preach the gospel to each other every day. Now why should we do such a thing? It’s obvious why we preach it to the lost. They need to believe on the Lord Jesus and be saved. However, are we not saved already? Do we still need to hear the good news?
Picture this scenario. Imagine a husband and wife that have been married for years. They are fully capable of speaking and hearing, but they never tell each other that they love them. They go through all the motions that other families do, but they never say those words to each other.
Imagine also a son who never gets to hear his father tell him that he’s a man and who never hears the praises from his father. Imagine a daughter who never hears her mother telling her how beautiful she thinks she is. Imagine an employee who never hears from his employer what a great worker he thinks he is.
Let’s make this clearer. Let’s suppose that that married couple really do love each other. Let’s suppose that that father really is proud of his son and sees him as a man. Let’s suppose that that mother deeply loves her daughter and thinks she’s beautiful. Let’s suppose that that employer thinks his employee is a great worker.
The problem is, we’re not mind-readers. We can see actions, but those actions can be just motions after time. These things need to be said while we have the chance. We need to be in the habit of telling such things to people including the good news. We live in an age where communication is limited.
I enjoy hanging out with my friends, but unfortunately, it seems we spend too much time enjoying things instead of each other. Of course, there comes a time for the enjoyment of things together. I don’t think there’s any wrong in playing a game, watching a movie, or going to a sporting event. However, we don’t usually get to know each other.
Compare this to the pool that my place has. I can go out in it with a friend and we will talk about our lives some because there’s nothing else there to really distract us and we can focus on who we are and the other person is. I have learned more about some people from the pool than any other place.
This could be why the internet is so revealing. We often think it could be because we talk to people without the distraction of personal appearance. There could be something to that, but I wonder if it could be because there is really nothing to distract us on here and so we can be more open. Our age is the age of distraction. Kierkegaard once said that if he could recommend anything for the world today, it would be silence, for even if the Word of God was said, it would not be heard.
What better message could be given than the good news though? Yes. Tell people they’re true friends and that you value them. Tell them also the good news. We can so easily forget it. Our lives are sadly often busy with thinking about our own problems and situations so that the reminder of the God who is there is secondary. Imagine being reminded of that. “Remember always that Jesus loves you and died for you.”
We also need the gospel when we need encouragement. When we screw up and go to a friend in Christ, we need that friend to give us the gospel. When we’re down in the dumps, we need that friend to tell us the truth. Of course, this does not discount the place for listening. Good friends should listen also. When the time comes to speak, they should speak though.
We live in an age where this is needed. More often, we need to remind the people who matter that they do. We can send a card or an email or make a phone call or go see them in person. Either way, remind them of the truth and most importantly, of the truth of Christ.