How can a Christian maintain a relevant testimony whenever he/she lives in a culture that’s stringently engrossed with perfection? If someone claims to be a Christian, non-believers often want peer-reviewed research, concrete data, and a congressional review before they will even begin to sniff out a wisp of belief that you are who you say you are. This is a reflection of the preoccupation we have with the number of achievements, awards, and accomplishments. For a Bible-believing Christian, that’s an excruciating standard to live up to especially when society sees Christians recklessly destroying their testimonies for everyone to see. The question becomes, “How do we keep our testimonies intact and together in order to present a feasible testimony when so many are skeptical?”
Becoming a living, breathing witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ starts with knowing who we serve. We do not serve the skeptics nor shape our every word and action to suit them. There will always be someone who doesn’t think your authentic, and they will sting you with a serrated tongue in relentless criticism. We have to discipline ourselves and recognize that we serve God the Father rather than the pundits. Guess what? He demands perfection just live the pundits; however, He doesn’t leave us to fend for ourselves. That’s precisely why the Holy Spirit was sent as an advocate so that we might hear from the Father directly. Whenever we disobey, the Holy Spirit will prod us with godly conviction, and if we listen, that leads to both a repentant heart and an altered course.
Now, we can never fully be perfect (no kidding!) but the difference-maker is Jesus’ blood. The blood he shed on the old rugged cross ensures that you are made holy in God’s sight. The relevance of our testimonies never depended on our own self-righteousness. Actions can enact change, but they ring quite hollow without the power of God. If we could witness solely through the strength of our own goodness, the crucifixion wouldn’t have been necessary. The blood of Jesus and the glory of God’s grace is what stimulates our witness to others. Our words and actions are simply a conduit for this grace.
Knowing that we are fallen and foolish, we must be malleable before God so that we can fight the good fight despite our flesh. God doesn’t want servants who put up veils to mask the sins that are ripping apart the binding of their testimonies. All too often, we conduct covert operations to cover up our sins. God see right through the façade and others will as well. It’s essential that we realize that our relevance doesn’t come from purity in action, because we fail every day. The relevance comes through living out repentance, which means choosing to do away with deeds and thoughts that originate from our fallen nature.
Still, people will want to know how to convince the skeptics. If we could convince all the skeptics, it would have already been done. We cannot grab people by the neck and shake the Gospel into them (even though we want to give it a try). It’s our job to plant the seed, consistently engage, continually pray that someone will water if you are not able, and allow them to make the decision. In the end, a skeptic has to make his/her own choice to either accept or reject the truth. The sad story is that many skeptics don’t want to convinced to begin with. Attempting to live up to another human’s standards that often arise out of insecurity and bitterness will just leave you even more confused.
Trusting in God’s grace ensures that if we line up our desires with His will, our actions will soon follow suite. However, don’t get caught up in the conduit (our actions). God desires a relationship with us, and that doesn’t work if we are scurrying about trying to earn grace through our deeds so that we can jack up the balance in our spiritual bank accounts. Just rest in the peace that surpasses all understanding, walk in discipline, and bear the fruit that comes from the Spirit. If we can put these elements into practice, our testimony will take its form and weather the storm that sin brings.
For it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” – Peter 1:16
Kevin Cochrane is a nineteen year old writer with the distinct purpose of radically restoring everyone with ears to hear to the original testimony of Jesus Christ. The great pursuit of his life is to live by the words he writes. For updates on his latest blog posts, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email.