So there was this one time I sat in church totally bored and distracted. I was going through a trying period of a sort and felt disconnected from the sermon. My mind was racing and in search of answers. My work, relationships and life in totality just seemed a mess, and I wondered if I was all alone or whether anyone in our day and in my church, had walked my path and encountered God. Then I, after moments of reflection began to ask myself: why do all these people come to church anyway? What have they experienced that makes them Christians? Do they even have a proof of God? This led me down a path of questioning Christians about their faith, not as a way to derail them but to find out the works of God and most of all, how I and many others could learn and be blessed by their stories [of faith].
Ask your neighbor
Okay so before you continue reading this post I will like you to ask a Christian friend this question: do you have a testimony and if yes, can you share at least one of them with me? Now I don’t know about you, but for the past couple of months I have been asking a lot of people this question. Time and time again, I get the same response from about 90% of them: I have a lot of testimonies. After moments spent probing, sometimes hours, many of these people, however, weren’t able to share any of their many testimonies with me.
This as you can clearly tell, is a problem and the sad truth is that many Christians haven’t imbibed the testimony sharing culture. Many Christians are so used to receiving answers to prayers, saying their silent thank you’s to God and telling a friend or their pastor what God did for them. And that’s where it usually ends.
Many, however, haven’t gone beyond the point where they share their testimonies with people beyond their inner circle. Lot’s of folk can easily share stories about who won the latest soccer match or what happened on TV and so forth, but find it hard to talk about or recall a testimony. These other types of conversations come as second nature to a lot of people, but when it comes to casually talking about God, many Christians struggle.
Why is it so hard to share a testimony?
I found out that there are a couple of reasons why people find it hard to talk about God or share their testimonies. Obviously all these reasons are fleshy and not spiritual. One of the biggest reasons being shyness. Yes! Shyness is the biggest reason people don’t share their testimonies. And the reason is simple: many are so concerned about what others will think of their past, that they forget about what God is doing in their present and how He saved them from their past. But trust me, no ones cares if you wore torn panties throughout high school because you were broke, or whether you had a detestable infection in your private parts, slept with and played two sisters, stole government money and more as long as they know and experience God’s power in your life now.
In the verse below, you will realize something very amazing that many Christians miss.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We are told that anyone in Christ is a new creature, and that all old things are pass away: sickness, shame, bad memories are all a thing of the past. Secondly we are given a ministry of reconciliation: Christ works within us to reconcile the world back to God.
This clearly shows that shyness is a deception from the enemy that hinders us from allowing Christ to work freely within us to reconcile the world to God. Shyness also has a way of making us share vague testimonies. I hear people say, “chale I have come from far ooo.” And that’s all. This, however, is vague: no body knows and nobody can relate till they know how far you were and what God is doing in your life now. Many testimonies now are pretty vague and honestly, I feel they leave many people wondering what the “hype” about Christianity is anyway. Because let’s face it, the devil can—like he did with the magicians in Moses time—counterfeit many of the things God does.
And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.(Exodus 7:10-12)
We can through our very detailed testimonies reveal the power of God in such a loving way that many will know that there is non like our God.
Bear this in mind, a testimony is the proof of God’s love for mankind: He loved us so much that He sent His only son to die on the cross that we through Him might live. Through this sacrifice He also made available for us all power in Heaven and on earth (See Luke 10:19). Our testimonies reveal His working power, and prove that His Word (Jesus) is true.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11)
Come and see
The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. (John 4:28-30)
What you will realize about the samaritan woman at the well as detailed in John 4 is that, when she shared her testimony—and as many know, her past was not so bright—a whole town came to know Jesus. Think about it! She was so moved by her encounter with Christ that she couldn’t help but run out to the evangelize to the very people who knew her for what she did and possibly loathed her for it. But note, she boldly did this and as a result many went out of the city to meet Christ.
Too far to be saved
You see we live in an age where many people feel they are too far to be saved, too far to be healed. Simply put many have lost hope in life. But if you, like the woman with the issue of blood who once suffered for many years, can rise up and declare your testimony, many who have lost hope in life itself will be revived and restored once again.
And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.(Luke 8:43-48 emphasis mine)
The bible tells us that, “Iron sharpeneth iron” (Proverbs 27:17), but the church hardly does it, actually we are where we are now, with many struggling not because the power of God isn’t real, but because we collectively aren’t sharpening each other with our stories of faith, stories of God’s power.
People want realists, we don’t want people hiding [being anonymous] behind a post or quote on social media saying God did so and so in a vague way. We want people we can relate to, we want to know that guy who was a porn addict for 20 years and who overcame his addiction by God’s grace. We want to know so we can find answers. Do you feel me? We want realists, real people willing to share stories about the goodness of God. This is what the world and the church at large needs now. People want to know what God is doing so they can experience His power as well. The blind man at the pool of Siloam did this perfectly, by publicly announcing that: “I was blind and now I see.”
He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. (John 9:25)
You see faith comes by hearing and hearing [stories about] the Word of God (See Romans 10:17). The Word of God who is non other than Jesus. Faith is built when people hear testimonies, it propels them to believe in God and thus tap into His goodness in a whole new way.
Whatever it is that you once struggled with, someone is out there who wants to know not about you, but about how God moved in your life: it’s never about you. Any testimony that focuses on you isn’t a testimony: people want to know God, not you. The plain truth is this: God saved you so that through you many more can experience His goodness.
In conclusion, God has given many of us a lot of talents, and these talents are channels through which our testimonies can flow into the world. Pray to God and let Him reveal to you, how you can share with the world your biggest proof of Him.