The Bible talks a lot about “testifying” or “giving testimony” to our faith. That makes me think of a courtroom. What does testifying to faith look like in everyday life?
The courtroom image isn’t too far off for some Christians. The Church has often been persecuted, and it was especially intense in the early days of the Church, when Acts and the various epistles were being written. For persecuted Christians, it did mean attesting publicly to their faith in Jesus Christ, sometimes before harsh judges. To testify is to bear witness, and this is something we are all called to do.
The call of Jesus is, first and foremost, a call to conversion of life. It is a repentance from sin, a casting off of old ways of seeing and moving in the world. The Christian life is one of transformation, becoming more and more like our God of love. In one sense, to testify to faith should happen naturally as we live like Jesus did. Our lives should bear witness in the respect we accord to others and the uncompromising dignity we honor in them. We bear witness in our gratitude, in our joy, in our hope in God’s power and grace. This is where we start! Sometimes others might inquire, as St. Peter puts it, as to “a reason for your hope.” Now you’re on the stand! It’s time to offer, “with gentleness and reverence,” the Good News of the Gospel (c.f. 1 Peter 3:15-16).