FIRST PERSON: A boring testimony? No such thing

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- "I have a boring testimony," one student said when we shared our testimonies in a Sunday School class I co-lead for a group of high school guys.

What he meant is that he made a profession of faith at a young age in response to his parents' Gospel presentation.

He was, therefore, not saved out of a life of drugs; he did not overcome a shattered life; and he did not find Christ from a prison cell, then share the Gospel with his fellow inmates through a Spirit-led prison ministry.

Perhaps the student's testimony would have been more interesting if any of those things were true. So, from a human perspective, maybe he was right when he said he had a "boring" testimony.

Then there's the instance of three students here at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary walking along the sidewalk and a teenage girl who walked toward them after getting off a school bus. The team had an opportunity to engage her in spiritual conversation, with one member sharing his testimony along with the Gospel. When the girl responded by expressing her desire to profess faith in Christ, another team member led her in prayer.

The girl, who had stepped off the bus a lost person, simply heard the Gospel, responded by confessing Jesus as Lord and went home a Christian.

Perhaps these two individuals -- and perhaps you as well -- have a "boring" testimony.

But maybe we shouldn't view our testimonies from a human perspective. Jesus said there is joy in the presence of the angels of God when one sinner repents (Luke 15). Apparently, regardless of how "boring" our testimonies may seem to us, heaven hasn't heard a boring testimony. Now there's something to think about.

Perhaps, then, we should reconsider how we articulate our testimonies. Consider the story of the teenage girl who stepped off the bus. Biblically speaking, she was a spiritual orphan but now is an adopted child of the King; she was empty and enslaved by sin but now is indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God; she was dead but now is alive. When put in those terms -- when the reality of salvation is made clear -- the story is anything but boring.

Let's consider this point another way, this time from your perspective. The Creator of the universe, who sits enthroned above all creation as King over all, out of the 7 billion people on this planet, knows who you are. And in spite of knowing who you are and all the sins you have committed, He loves you so much that He sent His Son to die in your place, taking your sin upon Himself, and with it, the punishment that that sin deserves, so that you, an unworthy sinner, could be forgiven and freely receive by faith (not works) eternal life with Him in paradise.

In other words, God wants to spend eternity with you, and He made a way for you to do that -- to bask in His glorious presence for all eternity. This instead of what you actually deserve, which is eternal fire in hell, separated from Him. He spared you from this by paying the ultimate price of His own life. This is the furthest thing from a "boring" testimony.

Every testimony tells this story. Every testimony is an indication that God is loving, merciful, gracious, holy, mighty, awesome, powerful, humble and indescribably, incomprehensibly big yet considerate, compassionate, concerned about His people, hearing our cries, looking upon the lowly and opening His hand of provision to every creature. Our testimonies are a story of this God.

From a human perspective, some testimonies may be more compelling than others. But biblically speaking, every testimony is an affirmation of who God is and what He has done for us.

And when our testimonies are articulated in this manner, they should inspire lost people to seek the Lord through faith, and they should inspire saved people to praise the Lord for what He has done for them, for who He is. Indeed, every testimony -- including the student in my small group who came to faith at a young age, the girl who stepped off a bus and yours -- is a story of how great and good God is. Think on these things and realize: There is no such thing as a boring testimony.

Alex Sibley is associate director of news and information for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and editor of Everyday Parenting, a parenting anthology released by Seminary Hill Press, the publishing arm of Southwestern Seminary.
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