What’s in a testimony?

What is your testimony?

As a Christian, you may have had several people ask you this. But what does it really mean to share your testimony?

I could tell you something along these lines, “Well, I don’t have much of a testimony. I grew up in church and never got into too much trouble. I did struggle with porn and masturbation throughout the majority of my childhood, but God has set me free from that.”

I would have a pretty boring testimony, and there is something about it that bothers me.

It bothers me because there are others who have gone through much more in their lives; involved in drugs, alcohol, sex, and just living a life of destruction. Their testimony seems a whole lot more interesting. They have had all kinds of horrible things happen and look at how far they have come.

In comparison, my own testimony is bland and uninteresting. In the past I have almost been embarrassed to share with anyone how pleasant my life had been thus far.

This mindset is wrong. The only reason I or anyone else might be thinking that our testimony isn’t worthy is because we are focused on the wrong person. Instead of focusing on Jesus and sharing what He has done, we are focusing on ourselves. We want to impress people with how messed up our lives used to be and if we don’t have a terrible story to tell we are embarrassed or even embellish our own stories to make them more interesting.

What is the true purpose of a testimony? To bear witness to something. Something greater than all of our own stories and messy lives. To bear witness to the beauty of a God who would send his Son to live among us and die for us. A savior who would take on our sin, conquer death, and rise again to be with us for eternity.

The Bible makes it clear to me what I should focus on concerning my own testimony.

“Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.  And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:10-11

Everyone may have a different story, but we all have the same testimony to share. None of us have a boring or unimportant testimony. If Jesus has touched our lives, what we have to share is just as important as the rest.

I shouldn’t try to make my past worse than it was and neither should someone else dumb theirs down. If we are giving Jesus all the glory and pointing to Him as the one who saved us from it all, each of us will have something to offer.

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5 thoughts on “What’s in a testimony?

  1. Love this… I used to feel the same way, actually. I wasn’t brought up in a Christian home and it’s not until my 20s that I truly converted and understood God for who he really was… I used to hear the other teenagers who came to church with me talk about their life stories: they’d all been stabbed at some point, engaged in gang activity, been the child of a rapist, been raped themselves… really, really powerful testimonies. Mine seemed quite mundane. But I was definitely only thinking about myself.

    It’s not until two close friends told me just what kind of person I was a few years’ ago, how I carried myself, the personality I had, my warped beliefs, my overall life, that I realised my testimony was powerful enough to inspire other people! Sometimes it takes friends and other people in our church/Christian circles to show us just how far God has brought us, and what influence our testimonies have had on others, without us even knowing.

    • That is so exciting! I am glad God has helped you to understand how powerful your own testimony is in other’s lives. It is nice when you actually get to see the impact you have made on people. It’s also good confirmation that God is being glorified through your life!

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