I have never been a fan of using quotes. Friends in ministry love to place quotes in their writing, sermons, speeches, and blogs. Still, others share an endless supply of them on social media from every book they read and sermon they hear. They are only valuable for me when I know the source, the context, and the story behind them.
Sometimes people have tried to use quotes to teach me. There was the professor who continually said, “People don’t care what you know till they know that you care.” A lady I know likes to remind people, “Preach everywhere you go, if necessary, use words.” The list is long of all the statements people have made about faith regularly to me and others.
My caution is simple. Make sure they align with scripture. That quote that you love may be great, but it might not be Biblical.
Let me take my professor’s quote, for instance. Jesus went from town-to-town preaching. I know he healed people and showed compassion to them. But he also preached the truth. Some came to hear him simply for that fact. The Apostle Paul would stop in a town and immediately start teaching about Jesus. He spoke the truth of the resurrection, and lives were changed before he even knew the people. The problem with the quote is it creates a false dichotomy. You do not have to choose between caring and teaching. As a believer, we are called to do both.
Quotes can be great. But make sure they are not ever equal to the Bible in your mind. Then take them and run them through a grid of sound teaching of scripture to make sure they align.
It is okay to enjoy a quote because it underlines the truth. But, never allow it to replace your Bible. And never allow it to let you avoid the acts of righteousness we are called to do. Never, ever let it become a way to fuel your selfish agenda above God’s.