Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What’s Your Testimony?

TestimonyHave you heard Christians get up and testify along this line? They say, "I used to do drugs and steal and hurt people and all these terrible things. But I don't do any of them any more. I believe in the Lord. I've stopped all these things." They leave the impression that it ought to make everyone become a Christian, to see such a tremendous change.
But what I have discovered is that people are not always impressed by what you have stopped doing. Even non-believers can stop doing these things if they have a good reason. And sometimes they succeed in stopping. If that is the basis of our Christian testimony, we have got nothing more to say than they do. No, the world is not necessarily impressed by stopping something.
What does impress them is seeing you do something they cannot do. That is love. Denton Lotz, leader of the Baptist World Alliance, related this story at the 1999 Arkansas Baptist State Convention:
A Romanian woman accepted Christ as her Savior and was immediately transformed by the unbelievable love of God. She began going into restaurants and other public places and simply declaring to all who could hear, "Jesus loves you!"
She came to a railroad station and shared her message, "Jesus loves you!" with two men who were drunk. Immediately one of the men slapped her across the face. She looked at him and declared, "In the name of Jesus, I forgive you." Again he slapped her, and again she said, "In the name of Jesus, I forgive you." As the men continued to beat her, she continued to testify to the love and forgiveness of Jesus. Finally they left her, nearly dead, where she was found by fellow believers.
A year later, she had recovered. One day she sat outside the front door of her home, and a passerby noticed her and approached her. He said to her, "I am a believer."  In order to test his sincerity (she was fearful that he might have been trying to trick her), she said, "Get down on your knees right there and praise God out loud." He did so. So she invited him in.
He said, "Don't you know who I am? I am the man who beat you up. Every time I would hit you, you would say, 'In the name of Jesus, I forgive you.' Because of your testimony to me, I could not help but turn to Jesus."
Love Your EnemiesJesus says that the mark of a genuine Christian is not just that we stop doing bad things (Matt. 5:21-32), but that we begin to love -- not just those that love us (anybody can do that, Jesus says) -- but beginning to love those who do not love you; to treat kindly those who mistreat you; to return good for evil and to pray for those who spitefully use you; to welcome and treat kindly those who are against you and are trying to hurt you. This is Christ in us, isn't it? You forgive freely. You no longer treat those who have needs around you with callous indifference, but you respond to them and do not shut them out of your life.

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?” (Matt. 5:43-47)
How will you show Christ in you today?


  1. My testimony is kind of like that in regards to the love.

    Before I gave my life to Christ, I was mad.

    Jesus saved my life.

    I am no longer mad, but glad and I would like to tell you why.

  2. Yeah, my testimony kind of is, I was a self-righteous self-centered hypocrite. Jesus saved me and changed me. Now I'm not perfect, but I am forgiven. God is making me to be joyfully serving, giving, and loving. Can I tell you the rest of the story?

  3. Agreed, it's about not just being and saying we are Christian but also how we live and our actions. What the Romanian woman did really touched me. I wonder if that had been me if I would have accepted the beating and continuing to forgive.

  4. Becky, I wonder that about myself too. I know it could only happen as Christ lives through me. That is the real miracle. --Richard


Thank you for commenting. I appreciate your thoughts and opinions on this post.