Every so often, we get a testimony Sunday at our church. This is a Sunday where members of our congregation come and share their testimonies. We also have the Teen Challenge come every few months and they share their stories as well, something I mentioned in Four Things My Church Does Right. These Sundays come and we hear testimonies of our wonderful Father and all He has helped these people overcome, survive, and conquer.
Don’t tell my pastor, but that might be my favorite Sunday of the month!
As long as I can remember, others sharing their story of salvation and redemption has sat on my heart much stronger than many other things. I sometimes feel even more connected to testimonies in the here and now than I do to the testimonies of redemption and greatness in the Bible. (Though those are so worth reading as well…I mean PAUL Y’ALL) God has played such a role in each and every believers life and being allowed the privilege to hear how He has affected others is something I am so honored to do.
Hearing how others have experienced Gods goodness and great power, listening to stories of His faithfulness, tales of hope, praise, renewal and brokenness-these are just a few beautiful parts of a persons testimony.
One of my favorite parts of testimonies are that they don’t always have a clear before and after, but often show the continuous and steadfastness of Gods love. Just because you accept Jesus as your lord and savior, life isn’t always pretty and perfect afterwards.
Please don’t think I doubt the miraculous power of God; I know He is capable. But the choice to walk in the faith doesn’t always mean a sudden or complete healing. Sometimes you’re still dealing with your mental illness. Sometimes, your addictions, whether to drugs, food, alcohol, sex, whatever, are still present and are present for years to come. As humans, we all also have the terrible ability to stumble, turn our backs on Jesus, and ignore the Holy Spirit at work within us. Our testimony is a never ending, always changing part of who we are in Christ.
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” Ezekiel 36:26 NLT
That’s an amazing part of our different stories and sharing them. Our testimonies are not always simply “I chose Jesus”. It’s the lifelong walk with the Holy Spirit walking inside us as we fight to keep Jesus at the center of our life. It’s picking up our cross, where Jesus left it, all our sins already forgiven and the burden of them taken from us, pointing to The Lord as we share our testimony.
I believe in two huge reasons to share your testimony. Number one being very simple-your story does not belong to you.
God has written your story out and He is in charge of your testimony, your destiny, your life. It’s only fair to share it in respect, giving the glory of who you are today to Jesus. You were given this life and God can use your testimony. To resist sharing it takes away from those around you.
Sometimes I think Christians feel like their story doesn’t show enough glory to Jesus, so they don’t share their story. They have been Christian since birth, there’s no huge turning point…it’s a story that won’t help anyone. I argue that’s not true at all. Even the simplest stories may touch a persons life.
I also think some people are hesitant to share their story for the opposite reason; they feel their stories are too intense or they have shame over their stories. Now I get this. I truly do. I often wonder how many of our church members would be horrified to hear how low my rock bottom was. But isn’t that even more of a testament to God’s power? Look how low I was-look how far I had fallen. It’s such a humbling reminder that no matter how far you wander from Jesus, He will still be there the day you walk back.
Your story, your life, your faith is all created by God and you should listen when He pushes you to share it.
The second reason? You never know who is listening.
One of the best parts about talking about your testimony is possibly touching someone who is in a place you have been. I had the blessing once of telling a part of my story on my blog and a few friends coming forward and telling me they had been struggling with something very similar.
God gave you your story. He may put you in another’s life with that story to share with them and help lead them back to Him. He may put a child in your life who needs to hear it gets better and Jesus gives you the hope in that. He may have you sitting next to someone, in the pew near by, who needs to hear how you’ve healed. That is why I choose to continuously share my testimony.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts of the Apostles 1:8 NLT
How to share your testimony?
In your church. If your church does a testimony service, ask them if you can share your story. Whenever someone begins to talk about Gods goodness and salvation and renewal, tell them about yours. Don’t fear the judgment of man if you share this story-the ones who will change their opinions on you because of how you sin are not the ones who matter. The One who forgave those sins and the person who may find the courage to change their ways as well-they’re the ones who are important in this storyline.
In Facebook groups or on your page. I’ll admit it now, I know some people find me annoying because I often talk about how far I’ve come or my kids have come, by the grace and loveof Jesus. But again-I share these stories because God puts it on my heart to let people see the changes He can make in lives.
With your friends or small groups. I am a big fan of sharing your testimony with your friends or small groups within the life of the church. Within our small groups, we may come to find others who have seen what we’ve seen-who need encouragement and mentoring to keep moving towards God’s Will in their life. I certainly find it easier to talk to someone who has been in similar spots as I have been in.
Share on someone’s blog!(or make your own!) I love blogging-duh, right? I think it is such a blessing to have the ability to share your testimony to the big wide world, to people who connect with where you’ve been, to show how truly AMAZING our God is. The feeling of “I’m not alone” is an amazing one. The feeling of “I’m not alone” followed by “I have this great power who died for me to ensure I am never alone”? That is other worldly. If you want to start a blog, as a hobby, this post is really great at helping you do just that. You never know who you will find reading and connecting with you. You never know who you may assist in finding their way to Jesus.
I challenge you-find a way to share part of your testimony today. Let others know what God had done for you and live so immersed in His Word and Light others are forced to ask how you live in such a way.