“…for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” – Act 4:20
According to Merriam Webster, the word “witness” has many definitions. Perhaps the most universal definition is simply “one that gives evidence.” We often think of this evidence in the legal sense. A person takes the witness stand and gives evidence that something did or did not happen. In the spiritual realm, we are asked to give evidence of the truth of Christ.
The disciples were literal witnesses to Him. They were tasked with giving evidence that this man existed, was fully human and fully divine, and was resurrected from the dead. Paul was another literal witness of Christ. He met him quite suddenly on the road to Damascus and was charged with telling the world about it.
We of this age are called to be witnesses too. While each of us has had a different journey in the faith, I would venture to say that many of us have not necessarily been “blinded on the road.” Without such an experience, what are we to be witnesses of and how are we to testify? Without an amazing personal story, some of us may not be comfortable in the witness stand of the world.
For me, the answer is that we must testify in how we treat other people. Our witness to the world must be in our attempts to emulate Christ. We must try, however feebly, to see as Christ saw and to do as He did. By that I do not mean that we can live perfectly, without sin or bad decisions. Certainly, we should strive for that. But rather, we should look as He did with compassion on those who struggle, who make mistakes, who fail time and time again. In so doing, we should, as He instructed us, remember our own struggles, failures, and mistakes. We must try to love those who persecute us. We must try to offer the other cheek to the one who slaps us. We must try to refrain from judging others. Above all, we must forgive. We must quickly forgive our children when they do wrong so that they learn to forgive. Our family members, our friends, and even our enemies are to be forgiven.
He told us to do these things and He did these things. We know He did because the witnesses around Him told us so. Now that the world largely knows His story, we can be powerful witnesses to the story without saying a word by showing the world that we, as Christians, are about compassion, love and forgiveness; not condemnation, judgment, and self-righteousness.
PRAYER: Father, help us to examine ourselves before we examine those around us. In so doing, let us be faithful witnesses of your Son. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: How are we to testify in today’s world?
Written by Joe Babb
Let us do life together, growing closer to Jesus, and closer to each other, through stories and experiences from the people of our church. Join us as we begin a new series for the Advent season, beginning Tuesday, November 28.