“By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”   Hebrews 11:6

          I heard a story of a tragic accident that took place in a steel mill. When the men began to pour the molten steel, the bucket that holds the steel became unattached from the chains that held it and the molten steel spilled out all over the place. The men ran from the site as quickly as possible but to their horror when they looked back one man was not so fortunate. As the man lay there, covered with molten steel and dying, he cried out for someone to tell him about Jesus. One man, being a Christian, didn’t respond to the man’s cries because he felt unworthy to tell the man about Jesus because his testimony was blown – he had been living as a hypocrite. How tragic! To watch a man fade into eternity without being saved, but how much more tragic when believers live as hypocrites and lose their impact in the world.

          Today I want you to think about your life. Think about your testimony and the influence that you have on others for good or bad. As you ponder on this I want to share a verse with you from Proverbs 22

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.”

                Testimony is defined by Webster as “supporting evidence, proof or honorable reputation”.  The world is looking at those of us who call ourselves Christians to see what kind of lives we live.  What is most important for a believer is that their lives reflect not only a good name for themselves but also for the Lord Jesus Christ and His church.  

                It takes a long time to build your testimony but only a few minutes to destroy it.  Maybe you have heard the sad story of Ted Haggard, pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs and President of the National Association of Evangelicals, who admitted to getting a massage from a homosexual man and purchasing meth. I saw a commercial just the other day with him in it and he stated that his whole life is now ruined. But think of how that affected all of those who were in his congregation!

          Solomon knew the value of having a good name and expressed this truth in our verse above. There are three things that he tells us about our testimony. First, your testimony is your choice. You must choose to have a good name. By the way, we all have three names; the one our parents gave us, the one others call us and the one we make for ourselves.

          I hope that you realize that your lifestyle determines what name you choose for yourself. What we say and do will determine the type of testimony that we have. Does your lifestyle give you a good testimony?

          The second thing Solomon tells us about having a good testimony is that our testimony is a valuable asset. He says that it is worth far more that money and material possessions, yet so many today sell out. In one association I served in as Moderator, the association’s secretary was stealing money and lost her valued testimony. Is it worth it? Maybe you don’t steal but you are selling out your testimony so you can get that new promotion at work.

          Our testimony is worth far more than any compromise we can make. Why do we compromise our belief just to make others around us happy? Perhaps we are more concerned about being accepted by others that we are willing to put Jesus in the background of our lives to keep our social standing.

          Lastly, our testimony is worth far more than any pleasure that we can indulge in. Pleasure lasts but a short time. Is there anything in life that is worth losing your testimony? Some have thought so, and while they enjoyed their pleasure for a season the day of accountability came and their testimony was destroyed. One such man I know was having a long term affair with a woman. When his sin finally caught up with him his testimony as a successful man of God was destroyed.

          The third thing we learn from this verse is that your testimony is to be beloved. If we don’t value our testimony then we will be willing to let it be destroyed by frivolous living. Let me give you a short testimony quiz. What is your reputation; what do others say about you? I like what Dr. Johnny Hunt, President of the Southern Baptist Convention says; “The testimony we leave behind will be either a lovely fragrance or a foul stench.” The next question in our quiz; Does you testimony reflect that you walk with Christ? The last question is; Does your testimony influence others in a positive way? Read what God says about Levi in Malachi 2:4-6:

“Then you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant with Levi may continue,” Says the Lord of hosts. “My covenant was with him, one of life and peace, and I gave them to him that he might fear Me; so he feared Me and was reverent before My name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and equity, and turned many away from iniquity.”

          I’ll end today’s study with this poem;

                                                                                                My Influence

                                                                                   My Life shall touch a dozen lives
                                                                                           Before this day is done,
                                                                                Leave countless marks of good or ill,
                                                                                         E’er sets the evening sun.
                                                                                       This, the wish I always wish,
                                                                                          The prayer I always pray;
                                                                                    Lord, may my life help other lives,
                                                                                              It touches by the way.
                                                                                                —Author Unknown

For Further Study

1.      Do you value your testimony?

2.    Have you done anything to discredit your testimony?

3.    Are you rebuilding your testimony? Seek the Lord’s help; He is a great restorer!

4.    Are you actively guarding your testimony to keep yourself from stumbling and destroying it?

5.     Is your testimony such that you can share Christ with others without any fear of being called a hypocrite?

Today’s Prayer

          Father, I come to You today in the Name of Jesus my Lord and Savior who’s testimony was True and Faithful! I realize that my testimony is valuable, not only that I would have a good name but because I also represent You, Your Son and His church in this world. I want a testimony that gives off a fragrant aroma and leads others to Jesus. Father, if I have hurt my testimony anywhere or with anyone I ask that You show me my fault and help me restore my testimony to one that You can bless. I ask all this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.