Owning Your Testimony

The last couple of days, I have spent a lot of time thinking about my testimony, my wife’s testimony, and the idea of testimonies in general. Rather than writing one really long post with all that I have been thinking about in regard to your testimony, I thought I would write a couple of articles about it the next few days.

To begin, I know that the idea of a testimony is something that generally transcends our Christian speech, but it still may be an unfamiliar word to some. So before we spend a few days talking about your testimony, let us just go ahead and state that when I use this word, I mean your story that has made you into who you are. Your testimony includes more than just the moment you decided to trust in Jesus, but your life as a whole where God was working through others and situations to get to know you.

To begin with, I want to write today about owning and being proud of your testimony. For years, I bought into the lie that my testimony was not one to share with others. My past was tarnished, and I was still imperfect, and I was ashamed of my testimony because my parents raised me in a Christian home. I bought into the lie of the enemy that I should have known better and been better, and that because I was not, I tainted my witness. Even after walking with God and living in him, I still withheld my testimony because I was nervous and ashamed.

Then everything changed when God breathed life into me with a comforting promise of affirmation. I heard that still small voice inside me tell me, “You were tainted. You were not good enough and could never earn it. But I love you. And my son is good enough. And in him, I don’t see your past, your brokenness, and your sin. When I look at you, I see the sacrifice of Jesus and I see you as holy and blameless.”

All the lies that Satan was feeding me were not actually complete lies, but they were distortions of the truth. It is true that I am a sinner and I am broken, and without faith in and through Christ, I will never be seen as holy and blameless. But I knew Jesus, and his death on the cross was more than enough for my sins and my shortcomings.

My testimony has power.

That is the real reason Satan was feeding me these lies, because he knew that my testimony has power. Satan wanted to quiet my voice so that I could not shout the praises of God and his miraculous work in my life. So I could not share the fullness of the life he has given and breathed into me. But no more. Peter tells us always to be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks for the reason of the faith I have (1 Pet 3:15). And here is the secret I have come to know and realize in why Satan seeks to silence our testimony.

People can argue with you about beliefs and doctrines, but no one can refute your testimony.

No one can argue with what God has spoken to you and done in your life.

The only measure of legitimacy is if this lines up with God’s Word because he will never contradict himself. Within agreement of Scripture, anything God tells you is something you can trust and hold strong in because God’s truth is perfect and unfailing. And this is why Satan seeks to quiet our testimony. Our story.

So what is your testimony?

Many people are like me and feel they aren’t good enough and their past is tarnished, and they are too ashamed to share it. But is that not all the more reason to proclaim the work God is doing in your life? Surely it is. As Peter tells us:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9, NRSV

Or maybe you are in the opposite camp. I know many people who do not feel they have a testimony worth sharing because they grew up in a Christian home and never had any real struggle or doubt. They accepted Christ young and have had a genuine relationship with him as long as they can remember. Yet, there is still a number of powerful messages in this testimony as well. To begin with, you still were in sin and alienated from Christ, and he has reconciled you to himself through your faith. But also, you have the power of sharing a strong lineage of faith. Listen to what Paul says to Timothy:

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.

2 Timothy 1:5, NRSV

There is tremendous power in the testimony of the person who has grown up in a home where faith was spread to all in the house. So many today leave Christianity regardless of their upbringing in faith, and so when you see the power of a faith lived out contagiously, there is a testimony there as well.

So I would recommend thinking through your testimony. What is your story? How has God worked in your life? Because your testimony has power and is worth sharing regardless of what it is. Because it is the reason for the faith and hope you hold to. Own your story and share it with those around you because there is power in your testimony. It is your testimony. People can argue with your beliefs, but they cannot argue with your testimony.

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