The purpose of a testimony is essentially to tell others how you made the decision to follow Jesus.
Chances are, if you’ve grown up in the church, you’ve heard these a lot.
Over the course of my 19 years, I’ve heard a fair share of testimonies.
I remember going to see Candace Cameron Bure at a women’s conference when I was ten. I was so impressed with her story and how her faith impacted her career. Hollywood and Christian morals don’t often align, so it’s been interesting to see how she’s staying true to God and making a difference in Hollywood at the same time.
In the back of my mind that day, I wanted to run away from home, “live”, and come back so I could have an incredible testimony too. I thought my testimony was too boring and insignificant.
Maybe you’ve felt that way too?
I was raised in a Christian home. I attended a Christian school from Pre-school through 8th grade. I was saved when I was four years old. I don’t even remember the exact date.
I’ve heard so many people in church talking about how their lives were so radically changed when they became a Christian.
I began to wonder if something was wrong with me. There was nothing radical about my faith. I don’t remember who I was before then.
One night in youth group, there was a lesson on testimonies. I initially rolled my eyes. It wouldn’t apply to me at all. Who would care about my boring testimony?
But the lesson basically explained that everyone’s testimony matters. Being a Christian is a lifelong process. It doesn’t stop when you ask Jesus into your heart. It’s a commitment to follow Jesus all the way. We’re all prone to sin and being “saved” doesn’t mean we’re perfect or exempt from temptations.
From a human perspective, we often try to rate sins. We may try to justify our actions by saying, “A little white lie isn’t so bad, but murder, well that’s just wrong!”
But that’s not the way God looks at sin. All sin separates us from God. All sin is wrong. No matter how harmful or innocent it seems to us, sin is sin.
As a four year old, I had sinned. I had fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). The wages of my sins were death, but through Jesus, I now had access to eternal life (Romans 6:23).
It can be easy to take salvation for granted sometimes, but think how incredible it truly is! Whether you were 4 or 94, the moment you chose to follow Jesus and accept forgiveness of sins, you were saved from eternal death. You now have hope of living with Jesus forever!
You were no longer defined by your mistakes, but by God’s grace.
Growing up, I was far from perfect. I would lie and manipulate to get my own way. I would hide the truth from my parents, wait a couple of years and then tell them. That way, the punishment wouldn’t be quite as bad.
I also back-talked quite a lot. I always felt compelled to give my two cents, even when it was obviously the wrong time to do so.
From the ages of 4 to 8, I probably asked Jesus into my heart at least 20 times. I wanted to make sure that Jesus would forgive me every time I sinned. I hated being in trouble, but I still loved lying and talking back. When it was less painful to lie than tell the truth, I usually did. On the outside, I was always a “good kid” at school, but very stubborn and strong-willed on the inside.
I guess you could say the perk to being saved from a young age is growing in Jesus as you grow in age. By seventh grade, I finally understood what a relationship with Jesus was all about. He wasn’t just someone we learned about in Bible class, but someone who genuinely wanted to know us personally. It wasn’t about how well I kept the rules. It was about how much I loved Him.
When my goal was to love Jesus, doing the right thing became easier. I wasn’t as much concerned with “getting in trouble” as I was with disappointing God.
Everyday is still a journey. I try to do what’s right, but inevitably mess up from time to time. That’s what makes following Jesus a lifelong process that is so worth it.
Every Christian has their own daily strengths and struggles. We can be encouraged to keep running the race (Hebrews 12:2) by hearing stories of what others have overcome with God’s help.
That’s why your testimony matters.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on testimonies.
How did you come to know Jesus? Have anyone else’s stories of salvation impacted your life?
Thanks for reading,