When I hear the stories of those who have come to Christ through incredible circumstances or from lives of incredible pain, my heart is always deeply moved. I hear those testimonies, and I am reminded that we serve a loving God who can change the hearts of the most angry, broken, and hurting people. Not only that, but He brings those people into Himself, offering them new lives of hope that lead into eternities of joy.
The impact of a salvation story is incredible — be it grippingly dramatic, beautifully sweet, or straight up astounding.
But my story isn’t like that. It’s not dramatic or sweet, and it’s definitely not astounding.
No, my testimony is yawn-worthily boring.
So when people tell me to go out and share the story of how the Lord saved me, I can’t help but feel a little silly and a little useless.
I mean, I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was 5 years old. I grew up in church and in a Christian family. I had heard the name of Jesus since the day I was born… Where’s the story in that? How is that going to help a girl who escaped abuse, a boy whose parents abandoned him, someone whose spouse died of cancer or who struggles with addiction?
How can God use my story, so unrelated to those who are in places of real spiritual suffering, to reach people with the hope of the Gospel?
Well, there is really only one reason: My story isn’t about me.
While we tell testimonies in terms of the decision we made to turn away from our sins and toward the grace of Jesus, deciding to put our trust in Him, that’s not really the point.
The truly incredible and important part is about God. It’s about God loving each individual in the world enough that He came here and walked this Earth to die a cruel and unimaginable death for our sins. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
It’s about God longing for a relationship with us and giving us the hope of eternity.
That’s the story being told by the woman who came to Jesus after a life of miserable illness, by the notorious drug lord who was led to salvation in Christ, and also by me and by you.
No one salvation story is better than any other.
It’s the story of the same God and the same grace, and we should be sharing it.
1 Peter 3:15 says, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…”
We have the opportunity to share with people the hope of a restored relationship with God and an eternity with Him in Heaven. No matter what hard circumstances someone is going through here in this life, this is the hope they need more than any other. You can show them what it is that they are desperately longing for.
How? How can we share hope with those who are hurting in ways we could never understand?
- Listen. Hear their story and hear their hurt. Even if we have never been through what others have been through, we can offer compassion and God’s love.
- Be generous. With your time and your energy, be willing to go the extra mile to show God’s love to those who may have trouble understanding it because of their circumstances.
- Love them. Ask God to give you a deep, genuine love for people and a compassion that only He can put into your heart.
- Pray for wisdom. Ask God to give you the words that this person needs to hear right now. He is the One that knows them best.
- Tell the truth. Share your testimony. Be honest about the fact that you don’t understand their situation, but remind them that God does. Tell them the whole truth — let them know that they are a sinner in desperate need of a Savior, but that the Savior loves them desperately and overwhelmingly.
We are each a sinner saved by grace. We have the Holy Spirit working in us and through us and we have the Bible, God’s own words. We have everything we need to share love and to share truth with the world around us.
And never be ashamed of your story. It is a beautiful picture of an unfathomably merciful God!
Meredith is the wife of an amazing husband, a lover of travel and baking, and a servant of the King of Kings. She writes at Life Along the Way, a project created with her husband as a place to share the ups and downs of their lives following Christ and to explore what it means to live life based on the Bible. Connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram!