Kindness Speaks Volumes – The Final Apologetic
Key Bible Verse: Live such good lives among [unbelievers] that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. – 1 Peter 2:12
Dig Deeper: John 15: 14-20
Francis Schaeffer was an apologist and an evangelist to intellectual seekers after truth. Yet Schaeffer’s apologetics were about more than convincing the mind.
He argued that it was wrong to separate apologetics from a life of love, and once famously described the love and kindness shown by Christians as “the final apologetic.”
In recent years, a book summarizing his approach has been published titled Truth with Love. It describes how Schaeffer showed kindness to individuals, often at tremendous personal cost, and how his kindness toward them was a key influence leading them to respond positively to the gospel.
Today, many evangelicals are branded as arrogant and unkind because of their convictions. Christian beliefs about sexuality and the uniqueness of Christ run counter to the popular consensus. Though people may reject the truth and feel enmity toward what we believe, we must not forget the teaching of Jesus about our enemies: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44, ESV).
I am convinced that servanthood is one of the best ways to answer the objections people have to our unique beliefs. They may dislike what we believe, but they cannot help but be impressed by the way we live.
—Ajith Fernando in Reclaiming Love
My Response: I will consider what my actions communicate to the people around me.
Thought to Apply: What [others] most need is to see in you a reflection of what God is like and of the transforming power of the Gospel.—Nancy Leigh Demoss (radio host, writer)
Adapted from Reclaiming Love (Zondervan, 2013)