God’s word should be taught from a point of love. The object and purpose of our teaching should be to love not because we want to show off or prove to be knowledgeable. There’s something about love and sincerity that melts the hardest of hearts and that’s what Paul wanted to ensure here. He knew the redeeming and transforming power of God’s love because He also experienced it. And so for him, the gospel must be propagated to show and bring people into that love.
The gospel is a love message and when we are driven by anything other than love and the realization of what God did for us we miss the mark.
The gospel does the following to us:
- Fill us with love. Love for self, others and God.
- Helps us build genuine faith.
- Helps us with a pure heart and a clear conscience.
Our goal should also be to help people develop a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. All of which keeps them grounded in the love of God. Paul had experienced this love. He knows his story, his mess ups, and failed past and how God lovingly set him aright, so for Paul it’s a matter of bringing others into this love.
When we share the gospel, this should also be the purpose for which we do it not to show off. Not to act as people better than others but to be a vibrant demonstration of God’s love to others. Our mindset should be such that speaks “I know my story and how God saved me. My desire, therefore, is to draw all to this redeeming power and love of God”.
A mindset like this I believe makes it easy for us to reach others and to see our own stories, not as something to be ashamed of or to keep a secret but as real-life testimonies of what we proclaim.
We don’t focus on the failed past of our stories but on the transforming and redeeming present and future of them.
Our stories are to serve as examples of God’s character to people. For Paul, it was God’s great patience and willingness to reach even the worst of sinners. Your salvation story is an example of God’s character, a proof, a testimony.