Why It's Time to Lose Our Witness

Appleedit “Be a good witness”

“Make your life testify”

“You don’t want to lose your witness”

Delivered with a smug smile and a knowing glance, I used those phrases all the time when I was teaching youth.

My thirty-year-old-self wants to go back and smack the smirk off of my twenty-six-year-old-self’s face.

I thought I was being Biblical. Paul-esque if you will. I thought I was exhorting everyone to do the right thing in Jesus’ name. Which is a good thing. But that isn’t really what I was doing. Really I was selling some brand of Christian perfectionism. Which is not even a thing.

I still hear it ring in my ears all the time. “Be a good witness.” And best I can tell, mostly it is being used the exact same way I twenty-six year old Kaylie used it.

Be on your best behavior. Make sure you’re doing a good job. Strive to get it all right.

And those aren’t bad things in and of themselves.

But what if we asked this question: What exactly is it we have witnessed?

What is it really that we have seen? What is it that we are seeing everyday?

I only pose those questions because I fear the answer is the same for most of us that it was for me.

We are a witness to our own goodness. We are a witness to our own perfectionism. We are a witness to our own righteousness.

We are in dire danger of making our Christian walk about what we are doing instead of what we are witnessing.

What is it really that we have seen? What is it that we are seeing everyday?

We are first hand witnesses to brokenness. Shattered lives and cracking feelings. We are witnesses to healing and redemption.

We are first hand witnesses to the sin cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, not just once, but every single day. We are witnesses to both the dramatic rescue of our souls and the renewal of mercy each morning.

“But what about sanctification?” My twenty-something self shouts, “Shouldn’t we be behaving better?

When we are checking with our hearts to make sure our belief comes before our behavior it forces us to live lives in constant ownership of brokenness and our need for the covering blood of Jesus. It bends our thoughts towards our Him, it sends our hearts rushing in His direction , and our actions are sent flying towards our Savior.

This is life powered by the rushing waters of the Holy spirit , not by the strong will of doing good. Goodness that comes only in recoginition of brokenness, not in assurance of right living.We are far less likely to get knocked over in our attempts to walk worthy of the gospel if we lower our center of gravity with the humility of our witness.

When we look back at Abraham we see this witness in action.:

“Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.”

His righteousness came from his belief. Paul even referenced this when he was talking about this self-focus of our own goodness:

“And I say this: The law, which came 430 years later, does not revoke a covenant that was preciously ratified by God and cancel the promise. For if the inheritance is from the law, it is no longer from the promis; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.”

He wasn’t saying the law was bad or wrong, any more than I am claiming that it is bad or wrong to be have well. His point and mine is this:

Belief comes before behavior.

We should be cautious of living a life of such goodness that we are no longer living by grace. If that happens we have made the horrible mistake of denying our sin. Y’all, I’m not trying to be dramatic, but if we have gotten to a point of denying our sin than we are to the point of denying our need for Jesus. (And that is dramatic.

Today let’s keep our eyes focused to see God’s power working through renewal and redemption and when it comes time to witness, we will have a story worth telling!