Yesterday I heard a quote that has made my mind ponder for a couple days. “a neighbor I have been witnessing to”. That was it, but my spirit began to turn and ponder the reality that we are not called to witness to anybody, we are called to “be witnesses”.
Some would just call it a play on words, and honestly I initially dismissed it as such, but then I began to think of the many passages in scripture that speak to the issue of witnesses and realized that feeling in my gut was actually the nudge of the Holy Spirit challenging my desire to do Christianity vs. be a Christian. We all face this challenge in life. It’s the natural pressure derived from our cultural longing for progress, but yet sometimes the drive causes us to do things God never intended. Like one way communication of the gospel.
Look at these passages:
Acts 1:8 (NIV)
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Luke 21:13 (NIV)
13 This will result in your being witnesses to them.
John 1:7-8 (NIV)
7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
Acts 22:15 (NIV)
15 You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.
Jesus was a witness…He did not “do witnessing”. He also instructed us to “be witnesses”. So the thought here is simple…is sharing the life of Christ natural for you, or is it an event? If it is an event that is reserved for one Saturday a month or maybe a missions trip during the summer, we have missed the point. The heart of God is that we would live life in such a way as to “be a witness”…or as some students at Starbucks this morning put it, “to be a reflection of Christ”.
I hope you enjoy your living as a witness today, tomorrow and the rest of your days, resist the pressure to perform the faith; instead, authentically live it out daily!