10th August 2013

“It’s The Way You Tell ‘em!” 

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

Frank Carson was known for his witty one-liners often followed by his catchphrase, “It’s the way I tell ‘em”. Here is one of his classics:
There were two Irishmen eating sandwiches in a pub and the landlord said: “You can’t eat your own food in here.” So they swapped sandwiches.
Not very funny, I know, but perhaps I don’t tell ‘em like Frank did. 

An important point for us Christians to remember is that it’s not only the content of the message we have for the world that matters, but the way we “tell ‘em”. For example, we could say, ‘God loves you so much, he sent his Son to die for you’. Or we could say, ‘GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH HE SENT HIS SON TO DIE FOR YOU.’ (Most computer or text users consider the use of all capital letters to be the electronic equivalent of shouting). The Christian message of salvation through Jesus is good news, and is something that we should be passionate about, but in being passionate we can come across, if we’re not careful, as being strident or aggressive. We are called to gently and respectfully share the gospel in the hope that some may be persuaded. We are not to pummel people with our words. 

Sometimes the world can’t hear a word of what Christians are saying because they are too put off by the way we tell ‘em. While Jesus had some strong words for the religious leaders, when he spoke to individuals or to the crowds he didn’t berate them for doing wrong, or blast them with the truth. Most commonly he would tell stories that made people think and consider.  He would speak words of grace and compassion. 

Later the Apostle Paul would write, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:2-6) 

May each of us make the most of every opportunity to share the good news of Jesus clearly and may our words be full of grace and seasoned with salt. The gospel is the most important message that this world needs to hear; let’s look to make it attractive and appetising. After all it’s the way you tell ‘em. 

Father, please help me to speak about Jesus with love and grace so that others might be attracted to him and not driven away.

Study by Barry Robinson


sep16About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.  Barry’s son, Ben, and daughters, Hannah, are presentely serving as volunteer staff at our SEP Summer Youth Camp on the banks of Loch Lomond, Scotland where over 100 teens are enjoying activities such as sailing, football, leatherwork and Christian Living.  The camp is staffed by volunteers who care about youth and help them to see Christianity in action for two weeks each summer.  Have a look at the website www.sepuk.org.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30 am

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email:  barry_robinson@wcg.org.uk

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