Archive for January 8th, 2009

Testimonials

08/01/2009

Recently I was asked twice to write some testimonials.For the first one, I gave a rough draft with outlines. For the second one, I wrote an even more general one, leaving parts to be filled in and others to be deleted.

Why didn’t I do a proper testimonial?

Simple. I didn’t know the people concerned. I didn’t know if they were male or female. I was merely being asked to help to write. So I couldn’t be more specific.

Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:1-3 asks a different question about testimonials. He asks a rhetorical question here – “Did they need letters of recommendation to show their suitability?”

1Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. 3You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

No. The results of their ministry among the Corinthians was sufficient. This result was evident in Christ-centeredness. It was of the Spirit and from the heart.

How did this come about?

When Paul ministered, he had them in his heart. “Written” on his heart gives an indication of the depth and intensity of his care and concern for them.

I am reminded of a few verses in Proverbs which talk about how our own testimony of ourselves versus other people’s commendation of us.

Proverbs 25:27 “It is not good to eat much honey; so to seek one’s own glory is not glory

Proverbs 27:2 “Let another man praise you and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.”

In fact, Proverbs 18:16 goes on to assure us that “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.”

There is a difference between knowing someone and knowing about someone. It is only when you truly know someone that you can speak about that person so that others might know about that person.

And the only way you can know the person is when you have interacted with them, spent much time with them, gone through thick and thin with them….

I suppose, it’s like when my friends went through their recent crisis. Three families came alongside and helped. We went through a most difficult time with them. At the end of that, when they said how much their faith was strengthened and how we had helped, those words carried weight for us. We were blessed even as they were, despite the tumultuous time.

When they speak of us, even as we speak of them, the words carry weight.