October 20, 2013


Next time your National Geographic arrives in the mail, check out the letters to the editor. In a recent issue I noticed that the letters typically published are five sentences long. That’s it: five sentences, often fewer. I once saw a letter that had eight sentences, but that’s rare.

Now look at the letters published on pages 4 and 5 of this magazine: most of the writers are just getting warmed up after five sentences. To be sure, readers of National Geographic don’t feel a need to support their opinions with Bible verses and quotes by Ellen White, but this simple fact reveals an underlying truth: We Adventists love our words.

Our idea of evangelism is a 45-minute verbal presentation, often accompanied by proof texts on PowerPoint slides; or handing out books, pamphlets, or magazines that can rarely be read in one sitting.

We Adventists love our words.

Why? Because our message is important; and you can’t communicate an important message without words. Or can you?

The other day one of my neighbors and I got to talking about the Sabbath. I told her briefly about what it means to us and how we observe the day. Then our conversation veered off into a discussion about salvation. I could’ve said more, I could’ve given her some literature, but I believe in going no farther or faster than the Holy Spirit leads. I felt led to leave it there, knowing that we’ll have more conversations, and believing that when she’s ready, she’ll ask for more.

The truly important thing about our message is how we live it. The sheer volume of words written and spoken today makes it difficult to communicate our message above all the others out there. But few can argue with the powerful witness of a godly life.