Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
Psalm 107:1-2 (New Living Translation)
In some church traditions, the people sing a song that says, “Who will be a witness for my Lord?” I remember growing up in church and going to tent revivals. Over on one side of the pulpit, there would be a corner where the older men of the church would sit, and when the preacher made a good point, they would say “Amen” … so we called it the Amen Corner. When the preacher would tell stories of all that God had done, the Amen Corner would be alive and well, and you could hear the amens echo through the air. When the preacher would start “stepping on the toes” of some of the members (especially when preaching against gossiping or backbiting), the Amen Corner would grow a little quiet, and the preacher would have to say, “Can I get a witness?”
Truth is, when things are going along fine and our ears are hearing things that inspire us, we can really belt out those amens, but when we start to hear about things that we may need to confess or correct in our own lives, we get a little quieter. Sometimes we might even hear a “watch out now,” meaning that the truth hurts. The truth does hurt, but as Paul tells Timothy in his pastoral letters,
“Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God's approval.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
Sometimes when we read or hear God’s Word, we need to be corrected, to have our errors pointed out, so that we can become better witnesses for the Lord. After all, as the old saying goes, “Your life may be the only Bible that some people will ever read.”
The Psalmist instructs us to give thanks to the Lord for all that God has done. Has the Lord helped you this week? Then speak out and give a witness to those around you who may need to hear some encouragement. Has God given you strength through a hard time in your life or healing in sickness? Give God credit and let those around you know that there is hope and that they can trust in the Lord. God is at work in our lives every day, doing marvelous things, giving us strength and encouragement. I can hear the Psalmist say, “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then shout it out! Tell everybody what God has done!” Can I get a witness?
Jan McCoy is associate pastor of First United Methodist Church of Covington. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.