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Her story took my breath away.
The crowd listened intently as she shared how God saved her out of a life of prostitution and drug abuse. She found Jesus in the most unlikely circumstances! The whole place was swept away in the emotion of her story.
In my head, I wondered if I could ever have such a close, intimate relationship with God without experiencing such a trial. When I compare my innocuous story to the dramatic details of others’ testimonies, it makes me doubt that my walk with Christ is as “significant”.
I was saved at age 12, never had a drug problem, have been married to a great man for 30 years, my two kids are serving Jesus faithfully, and I am in great health. No particularly earth-shattering drama – nor do I want that. But in Christian life, we sometimes glorify the dramatic testimonies over the muted, when in fact, they are both amazing works of God’s grace.
Testimonies are powerful vehicles to point people to Jesus.
But we need to check our motives as we share. If the focus is completely on our autobiographical story – a story about us – we need to change the focus. Make sure our testimonies are all about Jesus – not about ourselves.
The woman at the well in John 4 absolutely had a dramatic testimony. After encountering Jesus, she urged people to “Come see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”She did not lure the crowd in with the sordid details of her five marriages or her live in boyfriend. Her focus was strictly on letting people know she had met the great I Am – and He had forever changed her life.
And if you are a girl like me, without any kind of dramatic life story, do not underestimate what Christ has done in your life. He shed the same blood, went through the same pain, and gave His life for you just as He did for anyone else. Remember the woman at the well and the legalistic Pharisees needed Jesus equally.
If you are not that person with a dramatic testimony,
thank God you do not struggle with the long term consequences of sin such as battling addiction cravings or being haunted by your promiscuous past. Be overjoyed that you have not experienced the pain of divorce or an abortion. Be grateful for what God has saved you from, but don’t be prideful in it either. It is God’s grace working in us, not our own righteousness for sure.
One of God’s Hebrew names is Jehovah Rapha (God our Healer). Look at how it was used in context to the Children of Israel in the wilderness: God said, “If you listen, listen obediently to how Godtells you to live in his presence, obeying his commandments and keeping all his laws, then I won’t strike you with all the diseases that I inflicted on the Egyptians; I am God your healer.” Ex. 15:26 (MSG).
That verse clearly tells us God withheld some diseases for those who are obedient to His commands. We have no idea of what we have been spared. So be grateful for your “innocuous” testimony because God has spared you a great deal of mental and physical pain!
If you are that person with a dramatic testimony,
listen to the Holy Spirit carefully. He will direct you as to how much and when to share it. Oh friends, your story has power, but don’t let the seduction of the making the story all about you take over. We can make our past circumstances our idols if we solely focus on them.
It’s not the testimony that is amazing – it’s the GRACE!