For the longest time I yearned for a crazy testimony; you know, the ones that the person has a fall from grace, maybe a period of rebellion. And then, blam! that person has climatic moment or revelation where they realize that they need Jesus and do a 180 and comes to faith or comes back to faith…
For the longest time I tried to make my testimony sound hardcore. To make it seem something that it was not…
I was obscuring the purpose of testimony, of the story I have been giving.
Slowly I have come to see that my testimony is one that bears witness to God’s enduring goodness and faithfulness. My life is that without need for the crushing blow of a rebellion to show me God’s grace and wrath. My story is witness to parents that trained a child, backed with prayer, discipline and example. I do not need that crazy, hardcore turn about to make my testimony a “good” one.
My generation has grown up in at world that everything has to be over the top to be good. Middle of the road and normal is boring. I grew up just hearing about the hardcore people’s conversion. I am sure even some of the people who gave their testimony threw in a little embellishment to grab our attention. I know I have.
It was unnecessary. It ought to be unnecessary.
For the sake our youth and the next generation, let our testimonies be “boring,” a witness to God’s eternal goodness and faithfulness, living inside the means of grace, not obliteration so that we need fall into grace. All the “cool” has been establish has heart break- just look at all the Disney stars and celebrities that have been to brought to utter ruin because the “cool” stuff. We are suckers for climaxes, falls and failures…
I am not discounting nor ridiculing the testimony of those who either rebelled or did not know right from wrong before dedicating themselves to God. I believe those testimonies hold great value and show God’s amazing and unending love and grace for all. I write this as an encouragement to those who do not have that kind testimony. I encourage them to look over their lives to see where God has shown up and where he has bless them. I encourage them to share with others how they have walked with Christ and where he shown up in their lives. These stories and testimonies also shows God’s saving grace and love. People need to hear that so that they may be bold to share what God has done in their lives, a “Christian from the womb.”
I believe many youth and young people are scared to share their story because they do not know their story. And with that they do not know how their beliefs relates to their story. They have not been taught how to recognize how God has been faithful, how God works all things for his good, or how God shows up in all things. Maybe if the youth were taught how to recognize God in their lives and how to commune with him and really get to know God on an intimate level, not just facts, then maybe my generation and the next will be equipped to live in a matter that is witness the glory of God and bear witness to him with their testimonies.
I am not going to offer any suggestions or fixes, just application that works for me. For me, I have to journal. In these journals, I make record of prayers, current events, answer prayers… I can look back and see how God has answered prayers and moved I my life and actualized knowledge into experience. I can relate those experiences to my faith and they are a witness to who God is. Like I said this, this is how I recognized how God is moving.
I urge my brothers and sisters in Christ to live a life that does not put the Lord to the test. May your actions be that of Christ, full of love and mercy and compassion; seeking to spread the gospel and persevere the unity of the body of Christ.