2 Timothy 1:8
“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;”
Your testimony is your reputation. Building a good testimony is not going to be easy, nor will it be done without going through difficult situations in life. In fact, your testimony is often tested in life’s difficulties. Anybody can say anything about themselves, but the proof of what a person says they are is revealed by what they do in the difficult times of life. Many have crumbled or changed from what they used to say they were in difficult times. Paul’s testimony was not verified in times of ease, but it was validated in the difficult times of life. Even our Saviour proved His testimony to be true by His death, burial, and resurrection. You will never produce a testimony for Christ on the playground, but it is validated when you continue to do what you are supposed to do in difficult times. Several actions in this book show what it takes to build a testimony for Christ.
The first thing it takes to build a testimony is to spread Christ’s Gospel to the world. In the verse above, Paul commanded Timothy not to be “ashamed of the testimony of our Lord…” Everyone in the New Testament who we look up to as believers were avid about spreading the Gospel. The zeal of the Apostle Paul in spreading the Gospel is probably the one thing that stands out among everything in his life. You will never have a good testimony for Christ until you become a witness for Christ.
The second thing it takes to build a testimony is to endure tough times. 2 Timothy 2:3 says to “endure hardness.” Your Christian walk is purified through hard times, and it is validated by enduring those times. Too many people quit and run in the hard times come, but those times are where great soldiers for Christ are discovered. When God says to “endure hardness,” He never said that the hard times would end. For some people, they will have to endure their hardness for the rest of their lives. My friend, your actions in hard times speak louder than your braggadocios words you say about yourself in times of ease. It won’t be hard to build a good testimony for Christ if you will endure hard times. People will see you continuing in hard times, which will speak louder to them than anything you have ever said.
The third thing it takes to build a testimony is to live a holy life. In 2 Timothy 2:19, God commands the believer to “depart from iniquity.” Many people have ruined years of good works by falling in sin. I often say that you are not remembered by the body of work that you have done, but you are remembered by your last act. If your last act is falling in sin, you will always be remembered for that decision. It may not be right, but it is a fact of life. Determining to live a holy life and fleeing from opportunities to do wrong will build a great testimony for Christ.
The fourth thing it takes to build a testimony is to guard your associations. 2 Timothy 3:5 shows us that there are some people from whom we must “turn away.” You can’t build a good testimony for Christ and run with every person. You are going to have to get away from the wrong crowd if you are going to have a testimony that God can use.
My friend, your testimony reflects on the name of Christ. Be sure you live your life in such a manner that the name of Christ is not stained with your actions.