“The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)
Over the years, I’ve found myself in close proximity to many hurting people: family members who struggle with mental health, friends who manage daily physical pain, and others who experience social suffering of various sorts. Many of them share an internal mantra, “You can’t control how other people act, but you can control how you respond.”
Of course, that’s easier said than done, particularly in the face of injustice. But I wonder how this same sentiment applies not to negative experiences, but rather positive ones. In the face of testimony, what should our responses be? What response should we hope for from those hearing our testimonies?
When Christ testifies to the coming kingdom of God, he says to “repent and believe.” Even for Christians, this offers a strong model of responding to one another’s testimony; Hearing of God’s work in a fellow believer’s life should inspire us to turn away from our selfish inclinations and refocus on Christ.
Likewise, when we share our testimonies with nonbelievers, our goal should be to inspire such change in their hearts. That doesn’t mean we should command others to repent! But we should avoid the trap of attributing grace we’ve experienced to “luck” or our own hard work. Instead, properly acknowledge the work of God in the hopes that those listening will repent and believe.
Testify to God’s work in your life to one friend this week.
Lindsey Priest is an Indiana Wesleyan University graduate and lives in Arkansas with her husband and two sons. She likes to read to the kids, play video games with her husband, and refurbish furniture.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.