What is an endorsement? It is an affirmation, confirmation or testimonial that someone gives on behalf of a person, company, product or service.
The person who endorses something may be a character admired by Americans or successful athlete or renowned movie celebrity. When these respected personalities are used in this fashion, sales go up for that particular product or service because their endorsements influence millions of Americans to buy the product.
Have you already heard enough of endorsements this political season? Candidates will appear before the television cameras with famous entertainers. I’ve seen a few this past week.
The notoriety of celebrities adds credibility to the candidate some think. They really do not claim to have any special knowledge of government or constitutional theory and Americans really don’t expect them to. There is really nothing that makes them an expert on politics. The catch is that politicians just hope that people will be influenced by these celebrities to vote for them. It seems so shallow. In other words, if he said it, I believe it.
The one giving the testimonial contends they have faith, trust, and confidence in the product, person or service. They try in turn to convince others that they should too.
Yet, what is a true testimonial? In the Bible, the story of the man born blind is told in John 9. He had been blind from birth and Jesus found him, and healed him. The Bible says the man “came seeing.” (Verse 7) KJV
News spread throughout the town. The neighbors who had known the man all his life couldn’t believe it. The healed man was taken before the Pharisees and questioned about how exactly he had received his sight. The man explained how the stranger had restored his eyes.
The Pharisees even called his parents to testify if he had really been blind all his life. They thought perhaps it was a trick. The man’s parents verified that he had been blind from birth. The Pharisees began to drill the parents more and finally they said: “He will speak for himself.” (verse 12) KJV
The Pharisees told him to admit the stranger who had healed him was a sinner and to forget about him.
Then the healed man responded with a beautiful testimonial: “Whether he is a sinner or no, I know not; one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see!” (verse 25) KJV
True testimonials are a result from first-hand experience. This man who was healed by Jesus gave an authentic testimonial because his encounter with Jesus changed his life. He was an “eye” witness. He was someone who testified and gave evidence and outward proof of the wonderful transformation that had happened to him personally.
A person may not be a theologian, a philosopher, a celebrity or a renowned athletic. Yet, when a person says, “I know because this happened to me,” it is a true testimonial and does make that person an authority on his or her personal experience.
The man was not eloquent with words, he just said in essence “I know what Jesus did for me.” We might take a lesson from this beautiful event in John’s gospel. Perhaps we as Christians would be much more effective if people just heard us say, “I just know what Jesus did for me.” Then if we lived out his words by example of our lives, what an endorsement for Christ that would be.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: email@example.com