Sermon Illustration: Why Saying, “I Will Just Let My Life Be My Testimony” is Ridiculous

I hear many well-meaning, well-intentioned people say things like, “I don’t have to share the gospel, I will just let my life speak for me.” I have heard an ancient preacher (I have no idea who actually said this) quoted as saying, “Wherever you go, preach the gospel. When necessary, use words.” If you think about it, this one of the most absurd claims ever made.

We don’t do that with anything else, do we? With anything else that excites us and is changing us, we joyfully talk about what that thing is.

Think about it this way. You find a restaurant that you didn’t know existed. You give it a try. You love everything about it. You love the atmosphere. You love the service. You love the menu. You love the prices. You love the bread they bring out prior to the meal. You enjoy every morsel of your entree. You are floored by the dessert choices and the one you chose to devour. You leave incredibly excited about your new find and are beyond certain you will return on multiple occasions.

Now, when you leave the restuarant you go to a friend’s house. The friend ask you where you have been. You tell your friend you just found the most amazing restaurant that, prior to tonight, you didn’t even know existed. Your friend says, “Wow. Tell me about it.” You respond by saying, “No way. I don’t need to tell you about it. Lean in and smell my breath. That will tell you all you need to know.”

Absurd. Ridiculous. Crazy. Gross.

When your friend asks you to talk about it, you are going to open your mouth, not to breathe on them, but to tell them everything that impacted your opinion of your new find. It’s what we do. When we are impacted by something, we share what it is that is affecting us.

The same thing is true of our relationship with Jesus. When someone asks what is going on with us, we tell them. When we are experiencing the richness of God’s love and grace in our hearts, we want others to get in on it.