As Christians, most of us want to leave a lasting impression on others through our testimony. And most people—especially zealous and ambitious newbies—tend to use words to demonstrate their religious fervor. Yet, words alone can be deceiving because they don’t always reflect the actual character of the person. There are things even greater than words that paint a clearer picture of who we really are, and these can leave an even deeper lasting impression.
It’s important that we always speak the truth, but when our speech and our actions don’t line up, we come off as hypocrites—because that’s what we are. Our words really can reveal our true identity even if we can’t see it ourselves.
When we become Christians, every aspect of our life changes from the world’s view to Christ’s view. The Bible becomes our instruction manual, and most of us are faced with very defining changes that need to be made so that we can identify as Christians.
The most noticeable change that we need to make is how we dress. Society has set the standard for women, and so they dress in revealing clothing and aren’t intimidated by how others think. This dress code seems to support a kind of freedom and confidence in today’s world. However, there is no place for this attitude in a Christian woman and our true identity is revealed by how we present ourselves.
A woman may stand on a public platform and sing an awesome version of Amazing Grace, but if she dresses in sexually provocative clothing, then it wasn’t the Lord who was glorified. When Christian women feel content to dress in revealing clothing that promotes their sexuality, then we have to wonder if they even know God or if they have even read a Bible.
If Christian men spend as much time edifying their sexual lust as they do preaching about Jesus, then no one will see them as different from any other worldly guy. And when they do preach about God, the message will fall on deaf ears because their true identity will come through louder than their words.
- What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.—1 Corinthians 6:19-20
When we belonged to the world we spent a lot of our time being entertained by the world, but when we became Christians our thoughts and desires changed. We should have lost the desire for the worldly places and activities such as bars, theatres, worldly parties and raves. Instead, we should have the desire to drench ourselves in the Scriptures, in Christian fellowships and in activities that are acceptable in the sight of the Lord.
- Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.—2 Corinthians 6:17
We change our habits from sinful ones that plagued us when we belonged to the world to ones that bring glory to God. As Christians, we no longer smoke, take drugs, drink alcohol or engage in sexual activities outside of marriage. Our bodies become our testimony for the things of God only, and when our heart was cleansed by the blood of Jesus, that desire to engage in the things of the world was removed. So when the world sees “so-called” Christians preaching yet still engaging in these things, they either see them as hypocrites and ignore them or they think that it’s okay to be a Christian and still belong to the world.
- They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.—Titus 1:16
We change our speech from words of the world such as such as profanity, dirty jokes, sexual connotations, evil speaking and degradation of others to words that bring glory to God. The world has its own way of speaking and enjoys promoting the things of sin, but Christians promote the things of God, and we think and speak only the things that edify.
- Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.—Philippians 4:8
There is way more to the testimony of a Christian life than just preaching to others. And while it’s true that our mission as Christians is to share the gospel with unbelievers, we need to realize that what people get from us is more than our words—it’s who we are behind those words that impress them the most.
When we get saved, we change! We no longer want to belong to the world or do the things of the world. Our only goal is to glorify God, and as we study the Scriptures we find ourselves making changes all the time to please Him. We are able to see His goodness in our lives. Salvation is the biggest decision we’ll ever make, and it’s one that takes us out of the world and into God’s directive.
The thing that will leave the greatest lasting impression on the people of the world is the character of Christ that is alive in us! It’s how we dress and how we speak, and how we react in different situations that give people the greatest testimony of who we are. Words are impressive, but it’s how we live them that make our testimony powerful and that will leave the greatest lasting impression!
- Because it is written, ‘Be ye holy; for I am holy’.—1 Peter 1:16
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