When we speak of a witness in the American context, we are typically referring to an individual who sees an event, usually a crime or accident, take place. In a court of law, a witness may be asked to muster the courage to disclose what he or she has seen as evidence in the commission of a crime. Testifying is a courageous act because cross-examination will likely be uncomfortable, and there may be serious consequences for the defendant if he or she is found guilty. Sometimes, witnesses have been threatened, intimidated, or killed in an effort to keep them from testifying.
In the context of our faith, testifying refers to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ as witnesses to the grace which God has given to us. Being a witness in this context brings a similar level of discomfort, as friends, family, and neighbors “cross-examine” our testimony through the lens of their own lived experience and worldview, in an effort to determine if we are speaking the truth. We understand how important it is to be viewed as trustworthy. Our reputation depends upon it. Yet, the validity of our testimony will never be determined by the opinion of others. In sharing our faith, let us be bold, remembering that God knows the truth, and that, at the end of the day, it is God’s opinion that matters the most.
Peace and best wishes,