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Sometimes I worry about how much of my pre-Jesus past I should share with others. I mean doesn’t the Bible instruct us to forget the past? Shouldn’t we put the old childish ways behind and move forward? Yeah, these were some of my past (pun intended) excuses not to share my testimony.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
There is a time for remembering and a time for forgetting. The Bible gives us examples of both. It is important to consider the passages before the one in our text to understand what Paul is saying. He states, “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things” (verse 8). Paul is making the point that no earthy accomplishment compares with Christ and His righteousness. Therefore, he puts his past behind him to strain toward or dioko—pursue with vigor as one following the prize in a race or a hunter pursuing a catch.
Regardless of how good or bad we have been, we all come to Christ the same way: with a humble and repentant heart.
And we all come with the millions of memories stored in our brains since birth. But Paul is not saying to completely wipe away those memories when he states “forgetting what is behind.”
Some of our memories were lessons used as a catalyst for change that eventually drew us to Jesus.
When we recall and share the things from our pasts, it should bring honor and glory to God and spiritual benefit to ourselves and others. Remembering our pasts should cause us to be grateful and to press onward toward our heavenly prize.
Our individual stories of how we came to Christ are part of our past. As Christians, we call this our “testimony.” I have found, like me, some have shame around their past and are reluctant to talk about it. I have also found that sharing our faith and testimony is not an option.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:15-16
So, I had to figure out a way to get over my fears of sharing.
4 Reasons to Share Your Testimony with Courage
People love to hear stories.
My testimony is my story. Believers and unbelievers read books, watch TV, and go to the movies because we love to hear stories.
Stories help us relate or see another point of view.
When I realize that all I’m doing is telling a story about the greatest thing that’s ever happened in my life, suddenly, it’s not so daunting!
The world craves honesty and authenticity because it is rare. The more we’re honest about mistakes we’ve made in the past, the more other people can relate to us. Hiding things keeps people at a distance. Being honest and real fosters intimate relationships.
Intimacy is desperately lacking in our culture of Twitter, FaceBook, and Instagram friends—many of whom we don’t even know personally.
My Story will Help Others
People will see hope and peace I have and long to have it for themselves. There’s no preaching or persuading. I just tell what Christ has done for me.
It Keeps Me Focused on Grace
Sharing my story keeps me aware of the grace Christ extended to me. Since Christ loved me when I was still an enemy, I feel compelled to show that love and grace to others.
One warning. Be sure and share about WHO helped change your life. The One who is love and grace incarnate: Jesus.
Let’s face it, lot’s of people can help your life change for the better. You can go to a life coach, a personal training and get some great help.
A Christian’s testimony is about our repentance and acceptance of God’s grace offered through His Son, Jesus.
“Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.