What is it about a testimony? Why is it that when we listen to or read someone’s testimony, it drives us to become something greater than before. It’s just a story, right? Why is it that we get so wrapped up in someone’s life? Are we just itching for the dirty stories from years gone by? Are we so enthralled by the pitfalls, failures, and mistakes of another? Or is it the “turn-around-moment”? Do we love the happily ever after? Is it our tendency to get excited about how God used someone just like us to expand His kingdom? I think it’s a combination of all of the above, don’t you? Yet, how many of us have ever been disappointed in our own life, in that we weren’t given the chance to live the Hollywood script that others have experienced?
“My father was a drug dealer and a pimp, and after being physically assaulted by my neighbor, I was locked in a commercial cooler and left for dead.”
“Hi. I grew up in a Christian school and have gone to church my whole life.”
Now let’s be honest. Which one would you pay money to see in the theater? Probably the first story, right? Of course! It’s catching, inspiring, and one of the most amazing stories of redemption, healing, and faith you’ll ever hear (by the way, it’s a true story. Check out the story of Victor Marx).
My testimony is very simple, and if you haven’t guessed by now, it’s the second choice above. Am I disappointed in my life? Of course not! I’m disappointed by some of the choices I’ve made, yet I look back on my life and can proclaim God’s goodness and mercy (Psalm 23). Many times I have walked through my valleys. Many times have I failed. Yet my purpose is not to dwell on those past experiences and carry them around with me. If that were the case, I would have purposefully ended my life years ago. I will not be defined by my past sin. But I do recognize that those experiences have helped shape me in to the person I am today. I read a quote today that made me think through this idea of testimony: “Even as fog continues to lie in the valleys, so does ancient sin cling to the low places.” It is Satan’s ploy to bring your past sins to life. He wants you to reflect on them to show you, once again, how miserable of a person you are. But God declares to us that He removes our sins very far from us (Psalm 103:11-12).
Your testimony is meant to declare God’s goodness in your life! It is not meant to tell of days gone by. If you need to use a past story of something you did to illustrate God’s mercy in your life, awesome. But don’t forget to dwell in the house of the Lord, forever. Forever moves forward, not the other way around. God’s promises are new every morning. If He forgives and forgets about our sins (Hebrews 10:16-17), we must strive to live in His ocean of grace. You want to hear my testimony? Get to know me now. Not who I was.
Rak Chazak! God bless you!
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