3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
When it comes to sharing the gospel, little has changed in twenty centuries. St. Paul’s assessment rings as true today as it did in the first century: “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel.”
Religious faith has become taboo in the workplace and in the marketplace. And yet, in spite of living and working in a culture that says, “Leave it at home,” we know we are called to share the gospel with a world that needs it desperately.
How do we proclaim the gospel in a culture that trains people not to hear it? St. Francis offered this wise counsel: “Proclaim the gospel loudly. Use words when necessary.” Lives that bear witness to a greater reality are the loudest and clearest proclamations of the Good News. Every good and true endeavor which flows from a heart of love for God and neighbor testifies to the gospel—with or without words. The light will shine out of the darkness, giving light to the knowledge of God [v. 6].
The choices we make, the priorities we consider, and the hospitality we bestow all point to a greater reality behind our words and deeds. Some of us might share the gospel though preaching, but a compelling life raises the kinds of questions that only Jesus can answer.
One of the great blessings of a career in business is the continual opportunity to let light shine out of darkness. Decisions made in light of the larger reality of the gospel push back the darkness. What better witness than to treat persons as souls? What better witness than to bestow hospitality where it was not expected? What better witness than to build a corporate culture that embodies the fruits of the Spirit? Such goodness speaks for itself, and leads to meaningful conversations about faith and truth.
In a secular culture, these actions speak louder than words. The words to explain will bring joy when the question is asked.
© Bruce D. Baker, 2014