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Faces on Faith: Just keep your religion to yourself!

July 25, 2018
By REV. DR. DARYL DONOVAN , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Someone asked me one time why so many Christians feel so compelled to talk about their faith to others. Admittedly, some have been offended by what they have experienced as "pushy," almost threatening proclamations, calling for a fear of Hell and condemnation. Seems to me the gospel, which means "good news," ought to be just that, and because it is good news, it is worth sharing.

I really have trouble keeping any good news to myself! I remember when our youngest daughter and her husband told us she was pregnant, how excited we were! But then she said, "But don't tell anyone yet." Yikes! I had already started to type a text! That's how the message of the love of God through his son Jesus is for me. The news that God so loved the world that he sent his son that all who believe in him will not perish, but will have everlasting life is great news! How - or why - would I keep that to myself when clearly his love is for the whole world?

The other reason I love to tell others is because telling others was priority for the one who is the center of that good news. Jesus himself said that he must go everywhere telling the good news of the kingdom of God. Throughout his brief time on the planet, Jesus went everywhere telling folks of God's love, forgiveness and power to heal and restore. What a great example from the good news himself!

Article Photos

Rev. Dr. Daryl Donovan

Not that Jesus needed to tell his followers to keep on telling the good news, but his final charge to the followers standing out on the hill when he ascended to heaven was to go and tell (and show and tell), sharing the good news of God's love in word and in deed. I love what Francis of Assisi said, "Go everywhere proclaiming the good news, and when necessary, use words."

Maybe one of the reasons folks find all this talk about the good news of Jesus offensive is that they don't "see" the good news in our lives. I grew up in Missouri, the mule state. Francis the talking mule was raised five miles from my home. I love the story about the grandfather and his grandson walking out on the farm one day, and as his grandson peered into the sad face of a Missouri mule he said, "Look grandpa, this mule has religion, just like grandma!" Let's face it; if our face doesn't show it, most folks aren't buying it that the good news is good!

The Rev. Dr. Daryl Donovan is the senior pastor at the Sanibel Community Church.



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