What?! I couldn’t find the living testimony meaning in my Bible app. Why not?
This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday quick write hosted by Kate Moutang. Join us each Thursday night on Twitter (#FMFParty) for fun and fellowship, then grab a pen and start writing when the prompt goes live!
In Which the Bible Fails Me
I shifted on the hard church pew and stifled a yawn. The pastor just said something about a living testimony, and my mind wandered. Once again, in my humble (or maybe not) opinion, he had picked a sermon topic over the head of most of his flock.
How would our students, mostly non-Christian, understand the meaning of the phrase living testimony? I opened my Bible app to look up the verse and typed in living testimony. Growing up in the church, I’d heard it all my life. Instead of fault-finding, I could occupy my mind with a little word study from the Bible.
I typed in the phrase and hit search. What?! No results? I checked the version—King James. Maybe that explained the search results. I switched to the New International Version and tried again. Nada. For over fifty years, I assumed some verse in the Bible clearly stated my life should be a living testimony.
I changed versions again. This time, the Living Bible netted a result. Sort of. Jeremiah 4:2 says, “and if you will swear by me alone, the living God, and begin to live good, honest, clean lives, then you will be a testimony to the nations of the world, and they will come to me and glorify my name.”
How Does a Gal Find a Living Testimony Meaning?
O.k. a start. At least the words living and testimony shared space. And Jeremiah’s words made sense. But where had I gotten the idea that my life should be a living testimony? I kept checking translations and found a direct hit from a version I’d never heard of before—The Voice translation: “He did this for a reason: so that for all eternity we will stand as a living testimony to the incredible riches of His grace and kindness that He freely gives to us by uniting us with Jesus the Anointed.” Ephesians 2:7
The pianist hit the opening chords of the closing hymn, and I popped up from the pew with a guilty start. I should have just listened to the sermon instead of deep diving into whether the Bible exhorts us to make our lives a living testimony. Just because I couldn’t find those exact words in that exact order doesn’t lessen the lesson.
From the Old Testament to the New Testament, the Bible has evidence that God wants us to live lives that witness for him. He doesn’t expect our living testimony to show perfection—he wants our lives to testify to progress.God doesn't expect our living testimony to show perfection–he wants our lives to testify to progress. #fmfparty #christianwalk Click To Tweet
Progress towards healing relationships with people and with him. Forward movement in accepting and loving those who think and act differently. Progress in admitting our faults and allowing God to create in us a clean heart.
I challenge you to find more verses that speak of the living testimony meaning without using that word sequence! What do the verses direct you to do?