Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Testimony Envy

This week, my church kicked off a new series, titled "Missionary".  It's about reaching people for Jesus, not just as pastor or somewhere in a 3rd-world country, but in your own town, in your everyday life.

So at LifeGroup (a kind of large, social, Bible study) last night we talked about testimony, and a few people got the chance to share their stories.

Well, growing up in the South, it's not uncommon for someone's story to be, "I grew up in the church and have believed in Jesus my entire life."  Except for some wild times for a few years in college, that's basically my story.

And, like so many others who grew up in the church, I at times suffer from "testimony envy".

You life-long believers probably know what I'm talking about.  You hear someone stand up in front of the church and talk about how they had a vision of Jesus while they were OD-ing on black tar heroin and how they quit trafficking child prostitutes and are now an associate pastor.  (Or something like that.)

And you think, "Wow, God has delivered them from so much.  I wish I had a story like that."

What we forget is, while it makes for great narrative, the people with the "cool" testimonies probably wish they had a story like ours.

"That person has believed in Jesus their entire life.  They've never hit rock-bottom, and they have no major regrets about the life they've lived.  I wish I could say that."

Of course, God isn't impressed by how dramatic our testimony is.  Judging sin along a gradient is a human convention.  For God, each and every one of our stories is equally important, and it boils down to one simple message:  "You were lost, and I found you.  You were dead, and I brought you back to life."

If you're a Christian, then Jesus raised you from spiritual death.  What better testimony is there than that?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent, Preach it.

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