Over the past couple of years or so I have heard a lot of chatter about testimonies. No, not the type related to courts of law, but people’s testimonies–specifically how they came to Christ and how their lives were changed as a result. Folks have asked me “what’s your testimony?” or have raised the matter in conversations involving group settings–that hearing one another’s testimonies would be refreshing and such.
Our testimonies are important. There should be no doubt about that. They are an important part of our Christian life, because they are almost always the starting point of that life. They are also deeply personal stories about one’s journey. They are often rift with behaviors and actions that can borderline on the unimaginable–at least in the eyes of one seeing the transformed product in the present without knowing of that person’s past.
Thus, usually I cringe inwardly when I am in a familiar group setting and the subject of testimonies arises. Often when they are shared in a group setting of folks who have known each other for a while, they begin to sound, to me, like drama filled war stories being swapped. I find my mind going to places such as “can you top this?”, or “my dog’s bigger than your dog” if you get my drift there. Again, I’m certainly not downplaying the importance and value of testimonies–far from it and the opposite is true. They are important, and they are valuable–but, in the right circumstances.
Testimonies, in my humble opinion, are most important when someone, a seeker, non-believer, or fence rider, engages you in a conversation about your journey to where you are at now. When they start asking questions about such things as how you changed, what happened, what were you like “before”–you have to bring out the testimony guns. Opportunity has struck. Seize the moment. At that point, your testimony is just that–a testimony about transformation in the heart of a person–you, the one who is engaging in conversation with the one needing (key word there) to hear your story, your journey. They need to hear it because they see (or think they see) something in you that they want.
Our testimonies are a valuable chapter of our life’s book. Whether we know it or not, each and every day we add to our book. That’s because each and every day we’re given a new page on which the record of our journey is written. Each and every new page is start to the latest development in the building of your new past. So, in that life’s book you are both the author and the builder. How do you handle those jobs?