The first time I remember hearing the phrase, “preach the gospel to yourself” was from Jerry Bridges. He wrote a wonderful and convicting book called “Respectable Sins” that I highly recommend. The idea behind the phrase was a great one: that reminding ourselves of the good news that Christ came to save and justify sinners applies to our lives even after our conversion since we still sin.
But lately I’m starting feel like I’m getting overstuffed on the gospel. Preaching it to myself, pressing it into other brothers lives, others pressing it into me, marinating, etc. So here’s a gut check:
Am I so busy preaching the gospel to myself and having gospel musings with other believers, that I’m spending all my Great Commission energy on myself? In short, am I getting fat on the gospel while the world is starving?
In my daily feasting on the gospel, at what point do I feel satisfied and start to share with others? Do I share only with those who are already feasting, who I know already have a taste for it and know how to feed themselves?
Maybe the food analogy doesn’t work for you. Maybe the gospel is like the air you breathe. OK.
As I sit on this airplane 30,000 feet in the air, I’m reminded figuratively and literally that when the oxygen mask drops, I am to put mine on before assisting others. But how long must it take me to put it on? When do I stop breathing so deeply, getting lost in conversation with my travel companion across the aisle, and look to the child next to me in the window seat; she’s suffocating because she doesn’t have a mask or just doesn’t know what to do with the One right in front of her.
I love that the good news is just that. It’s good when we’re saved, and it’s still good generations later. But am I just a consumer of this news, keeping it all to myself and those who’ve already heard? Or am I helping to circulate it to new potential subscribers?
Three metaphors are my limit, so I’ll end with how I began, this time with a petition to myself and anyone who would hear:
As Jesus miraculously supplies an endless amount of good news that He is indeed the risen and living King, much like the loaves and fishes, could you please pass the basket? You’ve received the good news, PLEASE pass it to someone in your row who hasn’t received it yet. Remind yourself, sure. A knowing nod to a brother and a shake of your heads in disbelief over the grace you’ve both received, absolutely. But for the love of God, pass it along. Because I really start to question your practical theology of Love AND Hell when all the while you’re getting fat on The Great Commission.