Everyone has a story to tell. I’ll admit, I’m not always a fan of people in general, but I love that we all have a story. That’s become a big focus for us at Northstar Church in 2016. As we study the book of Acts as a church, we are able to see how the early church began and how their stories took shape. At the same time, we are able to look at our own lives and see how God has worked in us and given us stories of our own.
If you’ve spent any time in an evangelical church for any length of time in your life, there’s a good chance you’ve heard someone give their testimony. Personally, I don’t often hear the word testimony outside of that context, unless it pertains to taking the stand in a court of law. If you’re unfamiliar with a testimony on the church front, it’s basically someone’s story. Specifically, it’s someone’s story detailing how God has been at work in their lives.
This morning, Jeff, our pastor, shared that his testimony isn’t a dramatic one, explaining that he became a believer in Christ at the young age of seven. I, too, walked the aisle at church when I was seven years old. So, like Jeff, I can’t say that finding Jesus saved me from a past filled with drug abuse or criminal activity. But does that mean that I should describe my testimony as less than dramatic? Just because I was saved as a kid, should that make my testimony any less powerful than yours?
Here’s the thing, I’ve never understood why any Christian has described their story as not being dramatic. Why would anyone say that about themselves? Everyone goes through their own trials. The things I’ve gone through in my life may have taken a different shape than the troubles you’ve faced, but that doesn’t mean they were any less real to me. That doesn’t mean that God hasn’t been able to use those difficult times to help me grow, just like He can use your difficulties to shape you, as well.
It doesn’t matter how old anyone is when they decide to follow Christ. It doesn’t matter what anyone’s life is like prior to believing in Him, either. The fact of the matter is, I was on a path to Hell. Thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice and the grace I’ve received through faith in Him, I’m on the path to Heaven. That, to me, is amazing and is never a dull story.
“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” – 1 John 5:12
2 thoughts on “Powerful Testimony”
I love that you called me out on my comment about my testimony not being dramatic. While I agree completely with what you are saying, let me push back a bit. 😉
We both agree that the results of knowing Jesus ARE dramatic – our destinations are changed at the same time that our hearts are realigned. That’s amazing. It’s amazing AND dramatic what Jesus did to make our testimony even possible.
What I would push back on is that when I became a Christian – at age 7 – my conversion experience itself was NOT “dramatic” by definition of the word: “attracting attention : causing people to carefully listen, look, etc.”
I was just another church kid who finally realized that I had to make a personal decision about following Jesus. And I did. In my room, with my dad. In Little Rock, Arkansas.
It was beautiful. But it was not dramatic.
However, you’re completely right in that my story since then – and especially at certain seasons of life – has had dramatic elements. It’s amazing what Christ has done in me and through me, me knowing me and all. It’s a dramatic story of an ordinary guy being used in extraordinary ways, far beyond his own ability or ingenuity to impact others. It’s a sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat, no-way-did-that-happen, that’s-amazing kind of real-life drama.
My story is also one of what God in His mercy kept me FROM as I grew up. That’s amazing. I can’t imagine where I’d be without Jesus. Knowing what I struggle with WITH God in my life, I shudder to consider the depths I’d sink to without His restraining and sustaining power of mercy living within me.
So, Aaron, thanks for making me think deeply – again – about my story. I’m thankful.
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Thanks for the push back! And for sharing the more nuanced pieces of your dramatic story 🙂
I’m sure I’ve said it before, at least, I hope I’ve said it before because it needs to be said often. I am so grateful for the role that you and Northstar Church as a whole have played in my own story in the last three years. In a time when my heart was hardened against God and the church, I’m so grateful that He led me to become a part of a true family. I love being able to include all the ways God has used Northstar in my life as I share my own story with others.