In spiritual terms, a testimony is a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Yet our declaration of belief encompasses far more than simply the story we tell. Philip’s example underscores that a good witness for the Lord consists of character, conduct, and conversation.
As Christians, we rightly place great emphasis on crafting a solid personal account of the Lord’s work in our life. We also talk about the ways that we can “be Jesus Christ” to our friends, family, and co-workers through our actions. But character is the part of every believer’s testimony that underlies both Christlike behavior and a good life story.
In general, what we do and say represents the kind of person that we are on the inside. We can tell a lot about Philip’s character by noticing his actions and words. From among many believers, Philip was chosen as one who was wise and full of the Spirit. But he wasn’t selected for a great ministry position—he was sent to serve food. Philip went willingly to do this menial work and every other job the Lord gave him, which shows his obedient spirit (Acts 6:5; 8:5, 26-27). We can be certain that he was a sincere and trustworthy man, because when he spoke, people listened (8:6). Philip’s testimony shines forth in every way.
You can’t trick God into thinking your character is righteous if it isn’t. Nor can you fake moral conduct or conversation with people for very long. Sooner or later, a proud, bitter, or unkind spirit yields behavior and speech contrary to the Christian message. But godly character produces real spiritual fruit.