Sunday, January 16, 2011

Time to Testify

John the Baptist was one of the most well-known people in all of Galilee. People came from all over to hear him preach and be baptized in the Jordan by him. It would have been very easy to become the leader of a vast movement and use that power to rally people and rise to a position of leadership. All it would take would be for John to forget who he was and what he was called to do. John would not do that.
Instead, he helped prepare people for what was coming. And when he finally realized that Jesus was the One, he testified to that reality. John pointed to Jesus as the one people should follow, the one who would fulfill what was promised. This testimony meant that his role was finished and God's will for him was fulfilled. John would very quickly be arrested and, ultimately, killed. But his life was one of the most influential in history. Imagine, being the one chosen to prepare the way for, baptize and proclaim the Lord!
But what about us? To what do our lives testify? We usually tend to think of testimony as pertaining only to trials and legal proceedings. We forget that everything we say and do testifies to who we are and what we believe, whether we like it or not. You probably know people with whom you do not want to associate, just based on observing them. And there are hopefully a lot of people that you consider yourself lucky to know. Maybe we should ask ourselves "Which type of person am I?" Do people think I am a good person, a person of faith, a person who makes situations better? Do my conversations lift people up? Or do people find excuses not to be around me? Do they try to avoid me because I am always complaining or pointing out what is wrong? Do I leave others wishing they were somewhere else?
I think we need to make a conscious decision about what we want people to experience when they hear our words and observe our behavior. It is time for us to live our faith, to live the way God wants us to live. It is time to testify!

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