What Does Testimony Mean in Christianity?
- Linda Gilden Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2019 9 Apr
“Sharing (or giving) a testimony” in Christianity is telling someone else about your relationship with God.
According to Merriam-Webster, testimony is “a solemn declaration usually made by a witness under oath in response to interrogation by a lawyer or authorized public official; firsthand authentication of a fact; an outward sign; a public profession of a religious experience.”
Random people at the mall would probably define testimony as words from a witness on the stand in a court of law. But Christian believers would likely define testimony by the latter – the public profession of their faith journey and relationship with God.
How to Write a Testimonial
When someone asks about your faith and how you came to believe, here is an easy outline to follow:
- Your life before you met Christ
- How you knew you needed him and how you acknowledged that
- Your life after you met Christ
Life Before Christ
Your answer to part one will be unique. There is no scripted answer. However, this is your story and who knows it better than you. When you have the opportunity to share your testimony, remember there is no right or wrong way.
As you start to share your story, just talk as though you and a friend were sharing coffee. Think of how you were different before you became a believer. Were there certain things you did? Ways you acted that you have put aside? Thoughts you no longer allow to enter your mind? This often serves as the “hook” and provides a connecting point for your friend or audience.
This part of the conversations focuses on how you identified your need for Christ and how accepting him into your life met that need.
Life After Meeting Christ
The last part of the conversation should be an excited and joyful exchange that will draw your friend or audience to want the same thing you have in your life. At this point, you should end your conversation on a positive note with no pressure or condemnation if your friend doesn’t seem interested anymore.
Ways Christians Communicate Their Testimony
When Christians talk about their “testimony,” many are referring to the above—a time to verbally share with someone else or in front of an audience what Christ means to them. But there are several ways of continually sharing testimonies with others.
Some people have an easier time than others speaking about their faith journeys. If you find sharing comes easy for you, do so freely. You will find many times to speak a word of encouragement to others.
Don’t be embarrassed or apologetic if this is difficult for you. This is an opportunity to share your story – one you are familiar with.
Think of a time in your life (and there will be many) that you felt helpless or alone and God came and filled the gap in your life. Look for ways to share that in conversation. If a friend laments about a problem similar to one you faced, empathize, then tell how God helped you find a solution. Finding that connecting point opens the door for your testimony to be received.
In Acts 13:15 Paul tells us, “If you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.” When the opportunity arises for you to talk to someone about your faith, “please speak.”
Your gift may be writing rather than speaking. Use writing to convey your testimony to others. People don’t send a lot of written notes anymore, which makes them even more special. Taking time to write a note to encourage a friend, applaud a child, or console a neighbor means a lot. Just a few words can go a long in expressing your faith in difficult situations.
If you are a writer, God may call you to write a book or article. Listen to His prompting and use your talents to obey Him. In Habakkuk 2:2 we are told to “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” If you are faithful to do the writing, others may help us share the message. If you write a book, the publisher will be the herald.
3. Their Lives
2 Corinthians 3:3 says, “You are a letter from Christ…written not with ink but with the Spirit of the Living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
Even if you never say a word or write a note, you are sharing your testimony by what you do and the way you live. People are watching you as you navigate each day. They see how you respond to difficulty and adversity, and that speaks loudly all who are observing what you do.
When you act in a way that shows you love God and want to be His hands and feet on earth, people are aware. Sometimes they will even ask how you can remain so calm or be so happy, which opens that door for you to talk with them. But even if no one ever asks, your life is sending a message to all those around you.
As Christians, we are commanded in Matthew 28:19 to “go and make disciples of all nations.” There are many interpretations as to whether we must literally go somewhere or not. But no matter where we are, we can be ambassadors of God’s message.
Linda Gilden is an award-winning writer, speaker, editor, certified writing and speaking coach, and personality consultant. Her passion is helping others discover the joy of writing and learn to use their writing to make a difference. Linda recently released Articles, Articles, Articles! and is the author of over a thousand magazine articles and 19 books including the new LINKED Quick Guides for Personalities. She loves every opportunity to share her testimony, especially through her writing. Linda’s favorite activity (other than eating folded potato chips) is floating in a pool with a good book surrounded by splashing grandchildren—a great source of writing material! www.lindagilden.com
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