Show Me – Don't Tell Me
"And then he [Jesus] told them, 'You are to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.'"1
I have often felt that much of my education taught me how to make a living and do a lot of good things, but it didn’t teach me how to live or make a life. That I have had to learn the hard way—and am still learning how to do that.
Nevertheless, my education did teach me many valuable lessons. One that I have never forgotten was from my journalism professor. Time and again in bright red he would write on my papers, "Show me. Don't tell me!"
I took it to mean that in my writing I needed to illustrate important points with stories, which was the way that Jesus taught in his many parables.2
I like to apply the "show
me—don't tell me" principle not only in my writing, but also in my
teaching and especially in my witness for Christ. In other words, one of the
greatest ways we can teach others and witness for Christ is to model true Christianity
and effective witnessing. While the words we use ARE important, until we do the
above, our words won't carry much weight.
Like St. Francis of Assisi wisely said: “Preach the gospel at all times. Where necessary, use words.” And as another wisely said, "The living truth I long to see, I cannot live on what used to be, so close your Bible and show me how the Christ you talk about is living now."
In other words, "To win some we need to be winsome."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to so live the Christian life that others, seeing what You have done in my life, will want You in their lives as well. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’s name, amen.”
1. Jesus (Mark 16:15, TLB).
2. See Matthew 13:35.