It really is A Great Big World, isn’t it? And with so many people on this planet, why do we have such a difficult time simply saying something that we need to?
Perhaps that is the sentiment that New York duo Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino were feeling a few years back when they penned their smash hit Say Something.
Say something, I’m giving up on you.
I’ll be the one, if you want me to.
Anywhere, I would’ve followed you.
Say something, I’m giving up on you.
And if you haven’t seen the video, be prepared to experience a gut-wrenching emotional connection to situations where we all wish we had spoken, rather than remained pridefully silent. The overwhelming popularity of this song speaks to the universal sentiment that in many of life’s scenarios, silence is definitely not golden, and may even leave us with painful regret.
If I may, I’d like to “say something” right now that has been on my mind for quite some time. It has to do with a popular axiom many Christians have latched onto that is mistakenly attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. It goes like this: “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.”
A pithy and clever adage to be sure, but there are two problems with it.
First, St. Francis never said/wrote it…not even close, really.
Second, it creates a false dilemma in that the gospel is inherently verbal, so in other words, you can’t share the full message of the gospel unless you—
Use BOTH words and deeds to share the gospel!
Don’t let those around you give up on Christianity before they’ve ever even actually heard Jesus’ message of grace explained to them in a clear, compelling way. You really do need to say something! God’s calling you to find the ones who would follow Jesus anywhere, but unless you shut down your fears and open up your mouth, your unreached friends may never get the chance to hear the real gospel message.
Think carefully about the questions that the Apostle Paul asks in his letter to the Christians in Rome:
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them (Romans 10:14-15, NLT).
Right now, in your corner of the world there are people who are waiting for you to say something. They most likely know that you are a follower of Jesus, and hopefully they can see that your life is lived out in a way that is a good witness to your Savior. But they will never put their trust in Jesus for salvation unless you explain the gospel and invite them to put their trust in Christ.
But that’s part of the problem, isn’t it? We either don’t say anything, or we say the wrong things! By wrong, I mean words that aren’t really helpful at all. Unkind, judgmental, condescending, and otherwise superior speech has no place in conversations with our friends who don’t know Jesus. If that is your strategy for evangelism, perhaps you should practice the St. Francis (mis)quote after all?
However, if you’re ready to place your speech in the hands of the One who longs to have a relationship with your friends, let me suggest two things that Christians ought to start saying so that the good news really does sound good:
1. “I don’t know.”
Because many times we really don’t, right? Why is it so difficult for us to say “I don’t know”? Well, I don’t know…see how easy that is? I suppose we assume that our friends will think we are uninformed when they ask us tough questions, but the truth is—we are! Realistically, we can’t possibly be prepared to answer every question that comes our way, so it is much better (and loving) to tell the truth than conjure up some canned, cheesy response that doesn’t even answer the question in the first place.
Bottom line—when you humbly admit your lack of knowledge, it can lead to an opportunity to share what you DO know—and that is the truth of the gospel and how it changed your life!
2. “I’m sorry.”
Like it or not, Christians have perpetrated some pretty heavy damage to our reputation through the years by being hypocritical, prideful and generally un-Jesus like. Though you may not have been personally responsible for this, it never hurts to let people know that you aren’t afraid to admit that Christianity, as a whole, has some apologies to make. When you do this, you open a door of authenticity that demonstrates your allegiance to a Person and not an agenda.
And finally, sometimes we hurt THE Cause of Christ, not because of what we say or don’t say, rather it is the way we say it. So if you are ready to go say something to your friends who don’t know Jesus—take these encouraging words with you as you go: “Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone” (Colossians 4:6).
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Our lost and hurting friends need us to say something—so let’s preach the gospel of hope before they give up in despair. This week, look for open doors to share the good news for the sake of THE Cause of Christ—there may be many more opportunities than you think, if you just watch for them!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, thank You that You have entrusted us with the gospel and THE Cause. Make us mindful of our responsibility and calling to reach our friends—using words.
Read: Romans 1:16. For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.
Get: Life in 6 Words GOSPEL cards. Need a little help finding the right words to explain the gospel? Pick up a pack of Life in 6 Words cards that lay the GOSPEL out clearly and concisely and include a link to the popular YouTube Life in 6 Words: The GOSPEL video.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Big Idea: Say Something is a great picture of our calling to speak the words of the gospel to our friends and family with humility and authenticity.
Key Scripture: Romans 10:14-15
- When have you not spoken when you really should have?
- Why do we have such a hard time being honest?
- Why is the gospel one of the most important things we could say?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?