Friday, May 16, 2014

What is Your Testimony?

STORIES are the things that captivate our attention. We are given to such captivation because we are, with our imaginations, thrust into them. Anything we can conceive in our minds and believe becomes fodder for that cognitive adventure where we become artisans of imagery, painting it on the conscious.
Some of us think of our stories as too boring to share. Some of us are timid in sharing the sordid details. Some of us don’t want to be in the position of the braggart. And some of us just don’t know where to start.
If we do our homework our stories have sufficient juicy bits to intrigue people. If we are shy or still feel guilty and ashamed perhaps working on our testimony will help us develop the courage to share it one day. If we run through our written testimony, ensuring God gets the glory, we partake in an exercise of humility. And for those who don’t know where to start, you can use the following simple approach:
1.      What It Was Like – the Old You
Honesty is the very best policy. More glory goes to God when we can honestly admit our unregenerate failures and traits, without exaggeration. The dark details sell themselves. We don’t need to embellish anything.
Telling people about what it was like, we want to appear to them as credible, first and foremost. People sniff ‘phony’ from miles off. Why would we lie when we are trying to be used by God in his revelation in them?
2.     What Happened – to the Old You?
At some point the light went on; there was some point of realisation. Sometimes it’s a rock bottom experience that gets us to wake up to the real meaning of life. For others it’s a slower progression toward a time when we they were drawn to decide. It’s important to spend some time talking through what happened as it can seem too mysterious to the uninitiated.
3.     What It’s Like Now
Life is not a bed of roses, so don’t say it is when it’s not. As it’s crucial to be truthful with what you were like and with what happened, it’s ever more important to not embellish what life is like now.
Describe how you think differently, the temptations you are able to overcome by faith and trust in God, and what virtues (compassion, patience, kindness, etc) you have grown in since your spiritual awakening.
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What God has done in the life of the believer is a miracle. We should be ready to share the reason for the hope we have. The transformed person cannot keep quiet about how good God has been to deliver them.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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