Earning the Right to Be Heard
February 9, 2021
by Tracy Liang, DDS
“Preach the gospel at all times, using words when necessary.” We’ve probably heard this adage before. As Christian healthcare professionals, we may wonder and self-reflect how we’re sharing the Good News in this way. If our actions speak more loudly than our words, how are our day-to-day actions preaching the gospel to those around us?
Among friends and colleagues, we may preach the gospel without words through our charitable acts of service for people, our cheerful giving of time and resources, loving others as ourselves and even witnessing via the choices we make based on the integrity of our faith. With our patients, though, we have only a limited amount of time in the operatory chair. And unlike our colleagues in medicine, few of us in dentistry will be in life-or-death situations during which we could easily bring up the gospel and offer to pray for our patients.
So how can we preach the gospel during appointments without using words?
I’ve come to realize it often starts during my morning devotional times with the Lord. As I mix my prayers with the Scripture, I allow Him to satisfy my soul as the fountain of living water, to nourish my spirit as the bread of life. We know that Jesus is the Word (John 1:1, 14) as well as the living bread (John 6:51). When you eat, you are satisfied, nourished and energized. As Jeremiah experienced, this Word can become the joy and rejoicing of our hearts (Jeremiah 15:16). We can radiate this true joy to all whom we encounter throughout the day.
Scientifically, we become what we eat. The spiritual correlation is that we can live—truly live—because of Him (John 6:57). As Christians, we may have the experience that not only is Jesus a person who lives in our soul, but He is also magnified in our body (Galatians 2:20, Philippians 1:20-21). We know Jesus is real to us through the Spirit. We are able to walk by the Spirit and manifest fruits of the Spirit: meekness, self-control, love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness and faithfulness (Galatians 5:23).
In our everyday practice of healthcare, there are plenty of opportunities to shine out these virtues in a meaningful and genuine way to our patients as well as colleagues and mentors. We can bear fruit in every good work (Colossians 1:10), including the care we render to patients. We can be perfect as He is perfect, because He is doing the living (Matthew 5:48). This kind of wordless expression lifts Christ up, sharing the Good News that such a person lives. As we seek to live out the truths of the Gospel in our profession, doors will open for us to “give a reason for the hope that is in us” (1 Peter 3:15).