When we say that as Christians, our lives should be a testimony for Jesus, what exactly does that mean? At its core, it means that how we live, the things we say and do, and the way we interact with others should all point towards and reflect Jesus Christ. Our lives should show others who Jesus is and what knowing Him looks like in a practical, everyday sense. Let’s explore this idea more fully:
1. Our lives should reflect Christ’s character
As followers of Jesus, we are called to take on His character and image (Romans 8:29). Jesus was loving, kind, compassionate, gracious, gentle, patient, humble, forgiving, and selfless. As we grow in our faith, the Holy Spirit transforms us progressively into His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18). Our lives should demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). When others observe us, they should be able to see Jesus’ character qualities reflected in our own attitudes, words, and actions.
2. Our lives should demonstrate Christ’s love
Jesus showed incredible love during His time on earth. He loved, spent time with, and served those who were marginalized in society like tax collectors, sinners, and prostitutes (Luke 5:27-32). He loved people unconditionally regardless of their social status, ethnicity, or past mistakes. As His followers, we are called to walk in love just as Christ loved us (Ephesians 5:1-2). We do this by loving others – even those who are different from us or difficult to love – with the same grace and mercy that Jesus has shown us. Our lives should be marked by compassion, forgiveness, generosity, hospitality, and service to others.
3. Our lives should proclaim the gospel
Jesus commissioned all believers to go into the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). One of the primary ways we make disciples is by proclaiming the gospel message. This doesn’t necessarily mean we all need to become street preachers and evangelists. But it does mean we should be ready to share this good news in relationship with others when opportunities arise (1 Peter 3:15). We can share our own stories of encountering Jesus. We can explain the key themes of the gospel – who Jesus is, humanity’s separation from God because of sin, Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and the free gift of salvation for all who repent and believe (John 3:16). Our lives should demonstrate the power of Christ so that others are drawn to learn more about Him.
4. Our lives should be set apart for God’s purposes
As believers, we are called to be set apart from the sinful ways of the world (Romans 12:2). This means we have a different set of priorities – seeking God’s kingdom above all else. We no longer conform to worldly values but pursue holiness in every area of life (1 Peter 1:15-16). Our lives demonstrate different speech, different entertainment choices, different uses of money and resources, different life goals, and different sources of meaning than the culture around us. We show that we live for a greater purpose – to know, love, and serve God. Our lives point towards our true home in eternity with Christ.
5. Our lives should be centered on worship
Jesus said that true worshipers worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). The entirety of our lives should be acts of worship to God. We worship through singing, prayer, Scripture reading, church gatherings, and day-to-day living (Colossians 3:17). Our words and deeds are offerings of praise back to Him. We were saved to become worshipers who glorify God with our very existence (1 Peter 2:9). When others observe our lives, they should see that God is at the center. All we say and do is rooted in honoring and exalting Him.
6. Our lives should demonstrate ongoing transformation
When we turn to follow Jesus, we are changed. Old sinful habits and ways of thinking are replaced with godly perspectives and Christlike character. Our lives should demonstrate this change – this understanding that we are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Unbelievers should be able to look at our lives now compared to before and see the impact that knowing Christ has made. Our lives testify that Jesus has real power to transform people’s hearts and behavior for good.
7. Our lives should be filled with the Spirit
Jesus promised His followers that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). As Christians, we are called to be continually filled with and guided by the Holy Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit, we demonstrate His supernatural fruit (Galatians 5:16-18, 22-23) and gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). Our lives are not limited by our own natural strengths and abilities. Others observe in us wisdom, patience, courage, joy, and discernment that can only be explained by the Spirit’s work within us. Our lives directed by the Spirit testify to His reality and power.
8. Our lives should point people to Jesus
As Christians, our lives are not meant to draw attention to ourselves but to shine the spotlight on Jesus. We do this by giving Him credit for the good things people notice in us – it is Christ’s work in us, not our own goodness (John 15:5). We are careful to share stories and examples that point people to Jesus rather than just make us look good. We shift conversations to talk about what God is doing rather than our own accomplishments. In all we say and do, we aim to become small so that others can see Jesus as the true hero of our life story.
9. Our lives should back up our words
For our testimony about Jesus to have power, our lives must match our words. When we share the gospel or teach biblical truth, people will be watching to see if we live consistently with what we are proclaiming. They will have questions, like “Is this real in your life? Does this actually work?” Our lives should demonstrate that God’s truth is much more than nice-sounding theories – it is the powerful and practical reality that we live by. As Jesus said, a tree is known by its fruit (Matthew 7:15-20). Our lives must show the good fruit of godliness for our words to be convincing.
10. Our lives should point ahead to eternity
As Christians, our lives testify that there is more to existence than just this earthly realm. We know that a greater life awaits with Christ after death (John 14:1-3). This eternal perspective changes our life priorities and purpose now (Matthew 6:19-21). We live with readiness for Jesus’ return (Matthew 24:42-44). Our lives demonstrate that our true citizenship is in heaven, not on earth (Philippians 3:20). We are just passing through this world on our way to our forever home. Our lives speak of the greater purpose and hope that drive us because of Christ.
In summary, as followers of Jesus, we testify of who He is and what He has done through every aspect of our daily lives here on earth. Our character, love, gospel witness, holiness, worship, transformation, Spirit-filled life, focus on Jesus, alignment of words and deeds, and eternal perspective should all point directly to Him. We show the world who Christ is and why He matters through our lives lived all for His glory.