What can make my testimony more effective?
Here are a few basic guidelines to keep in mind when writing your own four-part testimony.
1. Have the right motive.
The motive of your life testimony should be to glorify God, not yourself or your experiences, and certainly not your past failures.
2. Ask friends to evaluate your testimony.
Often a person will share with a friend a detailed account of God’s work in his life. Certain important points will stand out to his friend and cause him to rejoice in the report. However, when the friend urges the person to repeat the testimony to another friend, significant points can be left out or reworded, and the effectiveness of the testimony will be greatly diminished. When a friend evaluates your written testimony, he can help you recall important aspects of the story that you may have overlooked.
3. Avoid certain dangers.
- Do not describe details of sinful acts.
- Do not use words that may stir up lustful thoughts.
- Do not repeat vulgar expressions.
- Do not refer to other people without their approval.
- Do not put others in a bad light.
- Do not make a joke of sin.
- Do not imitate mental, emotional, or physical handicaps.
- Do not speak or write too soon after a failure.
4. Create interest in each point.
Use curiosity to create interest in what you have to say. Consider using a question or a statement that will cause your listener to want to hear more. For example, instead of simply stating, “I envied my brother,” say “I secretly began doing something that damaged our relationship.” Then go on to explain what you did.
5. Build your testimony around the principles of Scripture.
It is important to explain how you applied a command of Christ or Biblical principle in a specific situation. Emphasize the cause-and-effect sequences, and show how God’s principles revealed the true pattern of human nature.
6. Evaluate the importance of your message.
As you prepare the opening remarks of your testimony, ask yourself if you would want to hear the rest of the message. A listener will say yes if your testimony is in terms of what he or she needs to hear. Since we all have similar temptations and struggles, creating this interest should not be too difficult. The length of your testimony should be carefully related to the schedule and interests of your listeners.
7. Prepare for testing.
Whenever you give a public testimony, you can expect to be tested in it. God’s purpose in this testing is not to negate your testimony, but to lead you to see deeper and richer truths related to it.