Earlier this week, someone humorously referred to me as the “Grand Poobah” of Stoneybrooke. Among my official and unofficial titles, that one has to be one of the funniest! But, we all have titles: mom, dad, teacher, plumber, missionary, doctor, sister, office manager, supervisor, truck driver and so on.
The question in life is…are we working to achieve a title or a testimony?
I first heard that specific question years ago from the author and speaker, Tony Campolo. Recent events have caused me to revisit that theme. We all know what a title is (and how to pursue one) but a testimony might need some clarification.
I think it is a formal statement that offers evidence or proof of a position or an idea. It is a kind of public recounting of our Christian life. It is the events and activities of our lives that do the “talking” and offer evidence along the way of those various assertions.
Bottom line, are we content to have a position or title or are we more interested in making statements about our life in Christ?
A Godly testimony starts with a genuine relationship with Jesus. Galatians 2:20 begins with “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…” And after our salvation, the testimony begins to be strengthened through adversity. Those things that hurt are often the very building blocks of our testimony. Hebrews 12 says that those painful things “…produce a harvest of righteousness and peace…”
When we have a vibrant testimony, we earn the right to influence and inspire others. In 1948, the British army had all the power in India, but Gandhi had all the authority to inspire and influence. That “authority” is often demonstrated in deep sacrifice for others. People watch as we serve and our testimony increases.
And after our death, that testimony becomes a legacy. It allows people to say that their lives were better because we came along. Sometimes that legacy is privately held in a family through great marriages and great parenting. Sometimes that legacy is more widely known and appreciated.
So this week, how do you and I start to build such a testimony? Firstly, we need to invest more time and money in things that matter for eternity. (Take a minute and review the last six months of notations in your checkbook. It will reveal what really matters to you.) And secondly, we need to treasure relationships over everything else. (Take a minute and review your calendar for the last six months. In whom are you investing your time?)
Being the Grand Poobah is nice, but what I really pray for is a life rooted in Christ that has the opportunity to impact others for Him. I want a Godly testimony, how about you?