I have to admit that I was a bit standoffish when our small group co-leader asked us to write out our testimony so that we can share with others. I have my reasons…my testimony is boring…pretty mundane really. I don’t have this cool story about how before I was a Christian I was some rock star living the party life and then I came to Christ and that all stopped. I don’t have the Damascus road experience to share…no bright lights or voice from the heavens. It’s not a cool story, it’s pretty boring really, mundane even.
However as Christian each of our lives is a testimony to the changing power of Christ. Christ has done an amazing work within us of changing us from a sinner to a son or daughter of God. We should be able to look at our lives and say I love Jesus more now than I did last year at this time. Or we should be able to see how we have grown in Christ from the time we were first saved. Having a story that we can share with others may help them to see the power of Christ more clearly through our lives…so that we can someday say to them follow me as I follow Christ.
Why is it that when we want to talk about us (i.e. I like that movie, I love peanut butter pie) we have no problem talking freely, but when it comes to talking about what Jesus has done in our lives and the amazing work that is, we clam up? Has not much changed? Are we embarrassed? Has Christ not won the victory over our sin nature? Are our sins not covered in the Blood of the lamb?
Or is nothing really different except that we go to church on Sunday?
It is very important to be able to articulate what Christ has done in our lives, even in little ways, so that we can lead into a conversation that will give us the chance to share the gospel with the unsaved. There is unquestionably a time for the testimony to be shared and in some cases it can help to lead into sharing the gospel. And while it’s true that each day we are growing in Christ if we cannot point to any one point in time and say “This is where I was saved” then something is wrong.
Did not Paul in his letters tell us of the man he used to be and the man he now was?
On the flip side of that I have a little saying that kind of sticks with me: “Your changed life is not the gospel”. It’s not my saying of course…but it still rings true. Unsaved People aren’t going to see Jesus in us if we don’t start there. People won’t understand any more than we have developed a new habit if we don’t talk about Jesus, and not in mushy terms life “life-change”, a lot of things in this world have the power to “change your life”. Weight watchers can “change your life”, a tornado can “change your life”. But only Jesus can change your hearts desires. Only Jesus can change your position of right standing before God, from sinner to saint. Unsaved people really aren’t going to understand what we are trying to communicate to them by sharing our story without sharing Jesus’ story, boldly and unashamedly. While I understand that they still might not understand we have at least done our part in sharing the gospel, and as Christians that is a big part of what we are all called to do.