Witness. We hear the word frequently. When we sign legal documents, we have to have people witness the act of our signing the documents. When lawyers are making an effort to establish their case, they use witnesses to substantiate what they are trying to prove. When people are trying to sell their product, they ask people to witness to or provide testimony as to the wonders of their product.
When we use the term “witness” in relationship to the Christian faith, there are times when we feel uncomfortable because we associate witness with a forceful sharing of faith that tends to lack boundaries. “Witness” is sometimes associated with those who share faith by going door-to-door or those who stand on street corners or those who corner you in public places with questions like “are you saved” or “if you died tonight, where would you be?”
But to witness in the Christian faith is to do so much more than that. It is not only the verbal expression of faith; it is the actual living of faith. Saint Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
I consider that quote frequently as I go about my life. There are times that I take advantage of an opportunity to talk about my faith, but as I evaluate my life, my question is not about what I’ve said, but what I’ve done. When I lose my temper behind the wheel, I am witnessing to something other than the love of God. When I become impatient with customer service representatives on the phone, I am witnessing something other than God’s grace. When I am trying to force my ideas upon others, I am witnessing something other than the diverse, wonderful creation of our God. Perhaps Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best when he said, “Who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you are saying.”
So how will you witness to the love God has poured into your life? How will you witness to the grace that comes from being a redeemed child of God? What witness do you give that points people to the Christ of our salvation?
My prayer is that Christ is made known through everything we do! We are witnesses to something … my prayer is that I am a witness to the Christ who gave everything for me!