MONDAY MUSINGS

Courage to Give Your Testimony

friends

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 diokopursue 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!

It’s Authentic

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. 

 

20 thoughts on “Courage to Give Your Testimony”

  1. Amen! God has given me the opportunity to share my testimony in places I never expected: to coworkers, youth in residential treatment, employees, customers, to doctors, to nurses, to others in the ER, and neighbors. Each time it was all God. Something I learned a while ago was that at times I felt I needed to share but in my zeal I forgot to love. I forgot that I didn’t need to save them when I only needed to point them toward the one who did save, Jesus. Once I realized this, the burden I put on myself was lifted and God opened up these opportunities I mentioned. What I do is focus on loving on them and not hiding who I am which is always being formed by the GREAT I AM. It is amazing how just loving opens doors, but you must be willing to walk through those doors when they open. There is nothing like having the opportunity to make personal introductions between my Jesus and the lost!

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    1. Jonathan, you make such valid points. It’s our job to share in love what the Lord has done for us. Everything else is the job of the Holy Spirit. Only God can change hearts!
      Thanks for taking time to share, my friend 🙂

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  2. This is so true! It is so important to share your testimony with others! It is a way to show others that we all have a past and failures. It also keeps us humble. It reminds us that we are no better than the next person! Very well written ♥️

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  3. Yes, Beckie, we should never be afraid to give our testimony of how Jesus saved us when we asked Him into our lives and hearts – He literally saved me from what would have been an empty, meaningless life. It’s a long story, too long to share here, but suffice it to say, His grace is enough!
    Blessings to you, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amen, Beckie! Love this post. I’m a firm believer in sharing our redemption stories for they are about rescue and love! Great thought, “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.” Yes!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was just thinking about this topic this morning. I think a lot about God, but it’s hard for me to bring Him up at work. I have a little, but I’d like to figure out how to do it! I’ve been praying for guidance.

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    1. Heather, it is tough to find the right ways to bring up God and our faith at work. I’m praying the Holy Spirit will help you naturally and authentically speak about the things God does for you and your family. Your story is powerful and doesn’t have to be told all at once.
      For me, it’s a gradual process for people like neighbors or at work. Just a mention of prayer or a quick story of how God did this or that. Many times it leads to questions down the road. It’s about relationship. So, sharing but also caring. Asking them what’s going on and offering to pray or meet a need. When people see we are “different” and truly live out our faith, that’s where it’s at.
      Of course, there are those times I have sensed the Holy Spirit prompting me to get bold with a stranger or someone I have not had the chance to build a relationship with. You know, on an airplane, or something like that. It’s learning to recognize and obey the Spirit. I must admit, there have been times I was too afraid. But I’m growing in courage and I pray you will too!
      Blessings on you as you shine your light!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your thoughts! I’ve found it to be a lot harder to be a witness where I live now in the South than when I lived in CA. I used to mention small things, too, like you said, and it led to more later. People watched me and saw I was different. Here in the South almost everyone is a “Christian” and speaks the kind of language that includes Christianese regularly. They’re also really nice in person, so it takes a lot more to prove your Christian love than it used to for me in CA. Since most people hide their problems here (even in a supposedly vulnerable small group), it’s also hard to know how to love them better. I have really struggled here to know how to share my faith. Even if I come right out and give the gospel, most of them think they know it, even if they’re obviously not living it. I’m still praying for help!

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  6. I know I’m late, but wanted to comment. This was my favorite line and it was a powerful reminder and message to me: “Remembering our pasts should cause us to be grateful and to press onward toward our heavenly prize.” Looking back with remembrance, but pressing on with our eyes faced forward, on Jesus! Thanks for your words! There were a blessing to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sharing our past takes wisdom and discernment, but it is in these stories that people see Jesus. He becomes real to them because you are real to them.

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  8. Psalm 115:1 is the theme verse for my blog! I think you’re absolutely right that our stories must be about God. I like to encourage people to make God the main subject of their stories and themselves a supporting character. Also, the more we practice–even with each other–the easier it is to talk/share about Jesus.

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    1. Carole, I love the idea of sharing with other Christians. I have been in small group Bible studies where we take turns sharing our testimony—one each week.
      I also like that you refer to God as the main subject of our stories and we are the supporting characters.
      Good stuff! Amen and Amen.

      Liked by 1 person

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