3 Ways to Kill Your Testimony

So, last night my wife and I laid in bed for 3 hours listening to what we thought was a woman screaming at the top of her voice next door. We finally figured out that “she” was drunk and thought it was awesome to hear her own voice echo across the 50 acre lake in our backyard. Turns out it was a drunk man; but that’s not the point. As I lay there contemplating the best way to respond – screaming from the back porch, calling the cops, or going over there and pleading my case, a million thoughts went through my mind. Scenario, after scenario played through my head as often times they do. I thought, if I go over there I may end up regretting what I say. Then, other thoughts continued to barrage my brain. You know how your mind can wander. What if they ask me if I want a beer? My sub-conscience answered, “I’m a Christian, I don’t drink.” In my head their response was, “We are Christian’s too, come have a beer.” I realized I was being judgmental in my thinking… wasn’t I?

It amazes me when people use words like judgmental or legalistic. The fact is, Christians are called to a higher standard. We aren’t supposed to drink ourselves into a stupor to the point where we are screaming across a lake at midnight. I used to sing in a Christian metal band and we were known as “the guys who don’t drink.” In the music scene that’s a big deal. We decided that if people saw us with a brew, they would automatically assume it was our fifth, not our first and only. Which means what? That drinking a beer is a sin? I’m not saying that at all. What I am saying is that it kills your testimony. If a non-Believer saw me at a bar on saturday night nursing a beer and then decided the next morning they’d try out this new church and there I was playing guitar on stage, what would be the first word that came to their mind? Hypocrite. Why? Cause I had one beer? No, because they’d assume I was out “drinking” the night before.

The first of the best three ways to kill your testimony is public drinking.

The second is smoking – AGAIN, I’m not calling this a sin or labeling a smoker a sinner. I am talking about the best way to kill your Christian testimony.

A great friend of mine was a smoker until two years ago. I got on his case hard about smoking because it causes others to think you’re “playing church.” We had quite a few heated discussions, but he finally quit for good (not only because of me… I won’t take full credit). About a year later he and I were at a church function and a guy we knew was smoking. My friend later told me that his thoughts were “what kind of a Christian smokes?” It was a sub conscience thought but it was there nonetheless. How powerful? A former smoker, who just a year earlier was arguing with me, is now understanding how the world views Christians who smoke. IT KILLS YOUR TESTIMONY! We can argue all day about whether or not it’s a sin. I’m not going to – I don’t care. What I do care about is whether you are effective in your efforts to bring people to the Lord. If people view you as a hypocrite, it’ll be impossible to lead them to Christ.

The last is language. This one most men struggle with. Eph 5:4 says, Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” I believe that 10/10 times this one falls under the category of sin. Obscene, coarse, vulgar language has no place in the Christian’s vocabulary. Will we slip up? Sure thing. Chances are a lot of us did today. But we need to constantly be on guard. James says that our tongue, like a rudder steers the mighty ship. The things that we say are heard loud and clear by those around us and they can never be taken back. I’d recently had it pointed out to me that a lot of people I know consider the word “freaking” to be foul. I’ve been trying to make it a point to weed the word out of my vocabulary even though I don’t agree. It is our job to be a good testimony and NOT be hypocritical.

I hope this was a blessing to someone. Pray on the things you’ve read.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Ryan stacey says:

    Great article man! Congrats on the leap into the blogosphere.

    1. Michele says:

      I was wondering, do you really think one beer is okay? I am just asking.

      1. Hey Michele,

        I believe this is a grey area in the Word. Although I don’t drink at all, I can’t authoritatively tell someone that it’s a sin to drink a beer with their meal. The Word gives us plenty of examples of Christ partaking of wine (there’s no mention of beer in the Bible at all to my knowledge) so we have to focus on these passages. There’s the argument that wine was unfermented and thus not potent like our modern day alcohols, however, Jesus’ first miracle was to turn water into wine and the passage reads like this.

        9 When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom,

        10 and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.”

        When we read this it makes no sense unless we are to assume the headwaiter is claiming that you serve the good wine and when people BECOME TOO DRUNK to realize it, you start serving them cheap wine. This would infer that Jesus indeed turned water into fermented wine.

        So, to claim that to have one glass of wine, or one beer is sin wouldn’t be a fair statement. There’s no basis that I can find to say that to DRINK is a sin. However, I still stand firm that in our society it causes men to stumble, therefore is a bad testimony.

  2. Michele says:

    I just want to be sure we aren’t telling our kids it’s okay to drink. Where do we draw the line? Do we drink up ’til we have kids then try and stop after? I do think it is a bad testimony yet I know plenty of people who do drink. I know for me I don’t want my children to see me drinking. And no I don’t closet drink. Drinking and me don’t get along. I think as adults we decide what’s best for our kids and I say, No. I would rather my kids say they have never tasted alcohol. I learned from Pastor Peters that if you are in leadership at Trinity you can’t drink. It is a subject that we can discuss in class but not to legislate. I don’t want them having one beer or one drink. And as for smoking, yes it can kill you but so can over-eating. Can we say that obese people also have a bad testimony? Maybe I guess, depends on the venue in which you are speaking. I also think being negative or a gossip or a busy-body can hurt your testimony. The fact is if someone wants to take offense they will, no matter how “good” we try to be. Thanks for hearing me and for your study of God’s Word.

  3. Hey Michele,

    I can fully understand your desire to watch out for your kids and everyone else’s. Of course when speaking with teens it’s important that they realize the difference between sin and stupidity. The Bible talks a lot, especially in Soloman’s writings, about things that are not necessarily sin but are a dumb idea. Drinking is one that I believe falls there. Sure we can’t say factually that God see’s a drink as a sin, but we can venture to assume it’s a stupid idea. We’ve talked with the youth plenty of times about the stupidity involved in drinking/drugs etc. They know where we stand. Neither Robyn, nor I drink at all. That’s a personal choice because we don’t believe it’s a necessity to our enjoying life.

    I recently had a friend of mine tell me that next time I cook chicken to go buy a bottle of Sam Adams Blackberry Brew and cook it in with the chicken. I told him no… I don’t under any circumstances support the alcohol industry. Not even one beer. The alcohol industry kills more people per year than any other industry, why would I sink God’s money into it? Even just too cook with?

  4. Michele says:

    Good. I just want to be sure we are backing up our kids and saying no. I think they want us to tell them to say no to ungodliness. Their peers rationalize why it’s ok to fullfil worldly passions but we need to take a stand against things which are harmful. People have been hurt because of alcohol, not only physically but emotionally people have been damaged. Thank you for your time. Keep up the work of the Lord.

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