Christians' purpose in testifying is to proclaim the greatness and glory of God. We can't go against His will in our testimony because it will cause misunderstandings about the nature of God and dishonor His name. Christians should avoid the following two mistakes in their testimony.
Testimony should be based on love
The Bible mentions "Speaking the truth in love" (Eph 4:15). This verse teaches Christians the basic principle of speech. Christians should not only speak with honesty, but more importantly, our words should be filled with love. Without love, it's difficult to determine what actions are sincere and it can't truly help other people. Only love builds up. (Reference: 1 Cor 8:1). Some Christians forget to have compassion and love in their testimony and end up putting others off. For example, the entire nation was shocked when a bus was attacked with arson in a southern city and 47 innocent people were killed. There was great grief after this, with many people forwarding news on QQ (Chinese social media platform) and Weibo (Chinese microblogging platform) to stay up to date on the incident and to express their grief for the victims.
While a group of non-believers discussing the incident on QQ, a brother joined the discussion saying, "Everyone, God is truly amazing! A brother from our church was on that bus but he ran out as soon as he saw the fire and survived! So you see, believing in God can help save you from catastrophes, but when you don't believe. . . "Immediately, the mood in the chat group changed dramatically. Everyone who saw the message attacked the Christian for his inappropriate speech. The group was suddenly overwhelmed with comments like "You God worshipers are so parochial. You're so indifferent toward innocent lives and just preach." "Whoever doesn't believe in God deserves to die? If your God is like this, I'd rather not believe." "Didn't people say Christians have compassion? I don't think so, they're all hypocrites."
This brother's testimony was authentic, that God did protect the brother on the bus. I have personally met him. However, he only thought about testifying to people for the purpose of spreading the Gospel and forgot about the principle of love. He didn't show compassion and sympathy toward the victims that they deserved. Instead, he seemed to be gloating, even though a young sister had died in the fire too. Unfortunately, this was not the only incident of its kind. It's everywhere in the church, and it seriously damages the image of Christians.
Testimonies should not deviate from the heart of the truth
We testify in order to proclaim God's name and to preach the truth, so our testimonies can't deviate from or violate the principles of it. Some Christians are so deeply affected by the Prosperity Gospel that they speak highly of earthly success in their testimonies and deviate from the heart of truth. A sister shared her experience at an evangelistic meeting of a church. She said while searching for one's other half, one must dare to make requests of God by adding qualities like heights, career, income, etc, so God will grant your wish. She asked for someone 1.8 meters tall, with a house and cars, and a good career. She found him and thanked God for him. But afterward I noticed some young men had left their seats and left the church. This sister's testimony was real that God did prepare a good husband for her to live happily ever after with. But God has different guidance and plans for different people. Not everyone will be rich or poor. A person's value in God's eyes does not depend on material things but on whether he or she obeys His will and commandments.
With the impact of secularization, many Christians have picked up some false values. They pursue the Prosperity Gospel and set earthly success as their spiritual standards. When they testify, they inevitably spread this view, and it contributes to the spread of the Prosperity Gospel and causes the church to deviate from the truth day by day. Secularization is more and more serious, making it hard for believers to have spiritual growth and causes them to gradually lose their testimonies in society. The development of the church must be based on the truth of Christ. Otherwise it ends up being a club of the world instead of a church. Therefore, Christians should be alert about testimonies that deviate from the truth. We need to understand the meaning of carrying the cross and let no earthly values affect our spiritual growth. (Reference: Luke 8:14)
(The author is a believer of Sanyi(Trinity) Church in Gulangyu, Xiamen.)
Translated By: Grace Hubl