Love wants to be spoken
If you’re in the student world, this can be a wonderful time of year. Exams and essays are done. The weight has lifted. The morning has come. No more long hours in the library, gazing longingly out the window at people callously flaunting their freedom. No more having to do what you don’t want to do – your time is your own again.
What will you fill it with? When I was a student, it was hanging out with friends, surf trips to Cornwall and playing music. And box-sets. And the obvious things, like building a bonfire in the woods next to campus and trying to light it with a flaming arrow (a lot harder than you’d think!). What’ll it be for you?
For many of us, this is the time of year when evangelism tends to take a back seat. Without realising it, we can place sharing our faith into the category of ‘things I do…but mostly because I have to’. This means that when we enter a period of rest, like the long summer break (a time when generally we can do what we want rather than what we must), evangelism gets unconsciously laid aside and left behind.
But does speaking about Jesus really belong in this category? Is our evangelism term-time only?
Think of the royals. Imagine if Harry only spoke about Meghan when he was on official business or when the microphone was on. That would be sad, wouldn’t it?
Or think of your best friend. Do you only mention and speak about that person when you feel like you have to? Or do you delight to tell others about them when you get the chance?
Talking about the people we love is not normally done out of a sense of duty or obligation. We talk about them because we love to do it. It is an overflow of the way we feel about them, because they’re worth sharing about. Love wants to be spoken, not just to the object of our love, but also to those around us.
We don’t talk about Jesus because we have a duty to (although we do) or because people need to hear about Him (although they do); we talk about Him because we love Him.
So, in these weeks of freedom over the summer, let’s go first to our Saviour and King in the Bible, and listen to the Spirit as He shows us just how wonderful Jesus really is. Let’s know and enjoy the Son of God more deeply, feeding our love for Him and letting it grow. And then let’s carry that love into our fun and mad adventures and allow it to overflow in our conversations, whoever we’re with.
Let’s challenge ourselves to let our love for the one who has given Himself for us pour out in speech each day, pointing others towards Him.
‘In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.’ – 1 Peter 3:15
Toby Ling is a Theology graduate and UCCF Staff Worker at the University of Exeter, where he loves talking about Jesus and life with students.