I was thinking this morning about the discussion in class Sunday. It is always heartening to hear a positive testimony of a man sticking to his faith and principles, making a difference in his world.
One of the guys mentioned offhandedly that he had made an impact at his job. I asked him to tell us specific steps that he had taken to make this impact. First, he said, was his language. He never curses, never talks negatively, and never reacts in anger. That is incredibly important â€“ and is always the first thing that people notice.
When I hear a Christian curse, or see a Christian’s curse words in a discussion forum, I immediately know that that person is outside of God’s will and God cannot use him in any form or fashion.
Ephesians 4:29 You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need,ï»¿ï»¿ that it may give grace to those who hear.
Jesus addressed it harshly:
Matthew 12:33-37 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is known by its fruit. Offspring of vipers! How are you able to say anything good, since you are evil? For the mouth speaks from what fills the heart. The good person brings good things out of hisï»¿ï»¿ good treasury,ï»¿ï»¿ and the evil person brings evil things out of his evil treasury. I tell you that on the day of judgment, people will give an account for every worthless word they speak. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
No matter your past reputation as a man of God, the words you use now, today, affect everyone around you. And you know what? You can’t just take them back and think all is well.
“It is said that a man once came to Mohammed and asked how he could make amends for falsely accusing a friend. Mohammed told him to put a feather on every doorstep in the village. Next day he told the man to collect them. ‘But that is impossible,’ said the man, ‘the wind has scattered them beyond recall!’ The prophet replied, ‘So is it with your reckless words.'”
Tom Constable: Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible. Galaxie Software, 2003; 2003, S. Eph 4:29
Back to the guy in my class, he also said something else that is very important and that we seldom take note of. He doesn’t participate in any form of innuendo. You know the word play that we use to talk about sex without talking about it. Or to say that Joe is not a good guy without saying it. Or to imply that Sally got that promotion not on merit without saying it.
The last thing he said was that he actually performed his job with gusto. He put his all into it.
And his workplace changed. Over time. Always over time because people are distrustful by nature. They don’t trust the guy that stands in the corner with a megaphone shouting about Christ. But they do trust the man that goes about his business day by day, putting action behind the things that the Holy Spirit teaches him.
After a while, other men began to act the same. Men that went along with the crowd before had an example in front of them that allowed them to make a change. It allowed them to be the men that they wanted to be in the first place but were afraid to go against the grain. It gave them courage to show their faith, in turn increasing their faith, allowing them to be examples to others.
Now that was a testimony! It was real, it was personal and it had results. Be the man God wants you to be. Be fearless, courageous and righteous. Allow God to use you to further His plan for your family, your friends, your church and your work.