I can still remember all the details about that day. It was war. The air raid sirens were going off. Buildings all around laid in disrepair. Bricks and windows smashed. Fires were smoldering in the ruins of what was a beautiful old city. Bombs were still falling from time to time, breaking the moments of silence. But, not really silence. In the stillness, you could hear the crying over the losses the community had experienced. The grief was palpable. And for me as a young boy, it was the moment I knew there had to be more. I knew that this tribulation I was facing was for a reason. I looked up, and there in the distance, as the smoke cleared, was the church. And that’s the day I accepted Jesus.
Ok, that story is 100% false. But you were hooked, weren’t you? It was so moving, so deep, so monumental. And it probably made you feel like your testimony was a bunch of bupkiss. Really that story was the bupkiss and your story is real. Let me pause and make sure you understand that there ARE stories like that one above. I’m not trying to debunk them. I’m not trying to debunk anything. What I’m trying to do is keep you from debunking YOUR story.
Recently, we were talking about the power of Christ in our salvation and our story in our LIFE Group. One of the topics that came up was the fact that some people have the sex, drugs, and rock and roll type testimony while others have the growing up in a Christian home, baptized at age 7 testimony. The point of the lesson was that we are ALL dead in our transgressions and made alive in Christ. So, no matter what your story is, God is still the same. But, it doesn’t always feel that way when you are trying to share your story with someone else. We tend to look at the stories of people who had experienced much more life and worldliness than us and we start to debunk our own stories as not good enough. Why do we do that?
I think it’s a defense mechanism more than anything else. “Well, my story isn’t as good as theirs, so I will let them talk about Jesus and I’ll just be over there drinking some water.” It’s a self-indulged ticket to be passive rather than active. It’s also a trick the enemy likes to use to keep us from sharing what God has done in us, for us, and through us with others that need to hear it. Out of a church as big as the one I’m in now, I would imagine that the majority of the people there have stories that tend to lean more towards the “boring” version of a salvation story rather than some glamourized movie plot type of a story. And that is perfectly ok.
We shouldn’t take what God has done for us and belittle it. My story isn’t one of growing up in a Christian home and always attending church and just naturally falling into the mold like a good boy. It’s also not one like what I opened with. My story is in the middle. I was saved at 17, baptized at 18. I was a typical teenager, doing typical unsaved teenager things. I didn’t belong in an action movie or drama about life change. But my life was most certainly changed. And there are others that my story will impact. It’s also important to note that my story didn’t stop at salvation. It’s continuing to be written. This blog is evidence of that. Your story is still being written too.
Your story is yours. That’s why it’s so important and amazing. Maybe you aren’t going to reach the prisoners on death row for murder. You might. But, I bet you will reach your suburban neighbor or that mom in the PTA. I bet you could connect with that guy at the golf course, or your coworker down the hall. My point is, not everyone is going to have a crazy wild story so yours become instantly relatable to the masses. When you approach it that way, your story becomes more powerful and you start to feel less of a weaker tool to advance the Gospel. There’s nothing wrong with those awesome and exciting stories of life change. But there’s nothing wrong with your awesome and exciting story of life change either.
As I sit and often think about this topic, because it comes up a lot, there’s always a statement that runs through my head. It’s not about how wild your story is, it’s about how you use it. You have been given a unique story. Even among the stories that don’t include drugs, prostitution, murder, bombs falling, etc., you have details and nuances that are unique to you. Those details are also relatable to others. Use what God gave you. Use how God got your attention. Use why God moved you to tell your story. Don’t let the enemy convince you that your story isn’t good enough. That’s how he wins. No, take your story, own it, and share it.