Be a Good Witness in the Community
In my walk with Christ, I often know a truth before I really understand its significance. Similarly, I often know the things that Scripture says I should be doing, but I often struggle with how to do them. I imagine I’m not alone.
We all know Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount: “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16, CSB). But many of us get stuck on how to shine our lights. Should I post more on social media? Should I serve at a local homeless shelter? Should I talk to my neighbors more?
As believers, we must apply the message of the cross to all of life. We must understand that the gospel has implications that are meant to bear fruit in and through our lives. The gospel compels and empowers us toward generosity, justice, brotherly love, and many other things! And it’s this fruit that’s a shining testimony of who Jesus is to our community.
THREE WAYS TO BE A GOOD WITNESS
1. Be present.
I run the risk of being redundant with this first point, but we can’t be a good witness in our community if we’re not in the community. We must be present.
You don’t need to come up with a new hobby or cause for you to engage with your community. The joy and beauty of being a new creation in this world is that God will use you as he’s created you. Your affinities and experiences, empowered by the Holy Spirit, make you perfectly qualified to be a good witness. Whether you’re single or married, old or young, an extrovert or an introvert—God will use you to display his diverse family.
Our model for faithful presence in our communities is Jesus. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14, CSB). He is our example of how to walk with different kinds of people. And as we do, we trust that our Lord will give us opportunities to display his goodness and love.
2. Be faithful.
Whether you’re committing yourself to a cause in the neighborhood, joining a community sports league, or are a regular patron at a café, you have the opportunity to reflect the faithfulness of God.
God’s faithfulness is displayed through his unwavering commitment to his people. He has proven over and over again that he is worthy of our trust. And so, as his people, we are able to display varying degrees of this commitment and trust in our community interactions. Our presence and faithfulness lay a foundation for friendships and opportunities to be built.
Our dedication reflects the faithfulness of God, but so does our faithfulness to biblical convictions. The fact that we can care about and enjoy the same things as our non-Christian neighbors (in the world ) without being conformed by sinful ways of living or thinking ( not of the world) shows our neighbors the transformative effects of the gospel. It also dispels misconceptions they may have about Christians and Christianity.
3. Be together.
When Jesus gave the “new command” to love one another (John 13), he immediately said that this one-another love would show the world that we’re his disciples. They will know we are Christians not by our wisdom or our strength, but by our love for God and for one another.
So how can you be a good witness in the community? Be together with Christians in the community. Swarm the world with goodwill. When we think of being a good witness, we should do so with other believers in mind so that our witness might be amplified.
In everything, let’s be prayerful and intentional. Let’s recognize that God doesn’t need us to accomplish his purposes, yet he has given us the privilege to join in his work.