“ They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; “ (Rev. 12: 11)
I tend to become frustrated when I watch or listen to testimonies on churches’ websites because the ones being picked are often extreme cases of terrible traumas or terrible crimes and great stories of salvation. This, although powerful examples of God’s grace, have often made me feel a little inadequate or worthless in my walk with Christ. I wonder also if these are representative enough to talk to the vast majority of non-Christians who do not recognise themselves in those stories.
Don’t get me wrong, crimes of the mind are no lesser sins than crimes of the flesh and
“ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23,
but not all of us will be attracted by the glory of God because we feel that we need saving from ourselves, some of us need God to save us from others and some of us need God to simply fill the God shaped hole in our lives. Forgiveness from sins is an added bonus that we may only recognise once we have made the first steps towards God.
I grew up unloved and being reminded of how worthless and unwanted I was on an almost daily basis and this from very early childhood from a number of important people in my life. Guilt and shame were my daily companions not because of anything I had done but because of what other people had done or said to me. The last thing I needed was repeated preaching of how worthless I was as a sinner also. What I needed was unconditional love and it took a long time for me to experience the love of God, in part because I didn’t know what love was, in part also because my fellow Christians kept reminding me of how wretched I was as a sinner.
There isn’t just one story of salvation, each and everyone of us has a different testimony and that testimony is in no way more or less valuable than someone else’s. Your testimony may seem insignificant to you, but it will speak to someone who desperately needs God’s helping hand in the same way that you have experienced it. Your testimony is God’s gift to you, what you do with it is your gift back to God, do not under any circumstances keep it silent because you do not feel that it has any value. Your story needs to be told because it talks of the grace of God and because somebody out there needs to hear it.
The problem is that there isn’t often a vehicle available for communicating those less colourful stories. But it is the job of Christian leaders to ensure that ALL have an opportunity to tell their stories and encourage people from all walks of life to tell their stories in a safe and non-judgemental environment.
If ALL need saving then ALL need the opportunity to talk about how and why they were saved.