From Pauses for Pentecost
When the Advocate comes,
whom I will send to you from the Father—
the Spirit of Truth who goes out from the Father—
he will testify about me.
One moment from my own early faith story stands out in my memory. I had just made my first public commitment to Jesus at a youth rally. Afterward, I sat with one of the counselors, who prayed with me. He then gave me my first bit of spiritual advice. He said, “Make sure you tell someone soon about the step you have taken tonight.” When I asked him why I needed to do this, he answered, “If you don’t share what you have been given, you will lose what you have received.” In the language of the verse above, my counselor was encouraging me to testify to my experience of Jesus Christ. When we have experienced a spiritual awakening or renewal, we need to pass on what we have received because, when we do this, it helps our faith to grow and deepen. If we don’t, it shrivels up and dies. Testifying to Christ not only brings blessings to those around us but it also blesses us. However, we need to be aware that those who hear our story may resent us if we talk about our faith in an unhelpful way. Rather than give Jesus a good reputation, pushy, judgmental, and self-righteous, words can turn people off. We always need God’s help to give genuine testimony to our faith.
Again, Easter people know that this is another way in which the Holy Spirit helps us. Sometimes the Spirit helps us know when to listen and when to speak. On other occasions, the Spirit may create just the right opportunity for us to share our faith. Someone may ask us why we live the way we do, may share a real need with us, or may ask us a question about God. These moments can become little openings for us to share how we have experienced Christ in the struggle and crises of our lives. And as we share our faith, often struggling to find the right words, the Holy Spirit uses them to communicate Christ in a real and surprising way.
Every day we are surrounded by people who desperately need Jesus Christ. Are we willing to become involved in the challenging task of testifying about our faith? The Holy Spirit is ready to help us.
What have you come to know about Jesus Christ in your experience? Write one paragraph to clarify your thoughts and feelings.