Friday, May 11, 2012

Boring Testimonies?

One of the things I love about Tim Hawkins is his ability to make his audience roar with laughter, yet still convey a good message. True, I don’t care for the feminine interpretations or crass remarks, but Tim frequently manages to leave me not just with aching sides, but with a serious truth to mull over. One such truth is found in his monologue about testimonies. Tim takes the microphone in his hands, lowers and shakes his head, and sighs,

“I don’t know, sometimes I like, wish I had a better testimony. Do you ever do that? Wish you had a better testimony? You’re sitting in church and you listen to a guy on stage and you’re like, ‘Man, he’s got an awesome testimony. I have a horrible one… I wish I had been addicted to crack!”

Funny. Ridiculous. But true. So often I feel many Christians have this comical, yet ludicrous attitude. I find it especially true in the homeschooling community. Most of us have been raised in a Christian home our entire lives. Since we were brought up in this protected environment and soaked in the Bible from an early age, very few of us can remember a specific date or time when we gave our hearts to Christ. Or if we do remember, our testimony is something along the lines of, “I was in Sunday school and the teacher was speaking on the cross for the hundredth time, but this time I was so overwhelmed with the realization of how much Christ truly loved me. So I prayed with the teacher.” Absolutely nothing wrong with that, but when it is compared to a testimony of deliverance from addictions, sexual relationships, or even death, we feel our “Jesus-loves-me” narrative is simple and, well… boring.

This past week I read “Redeemed and Restored”, a collection of testimonies from the wives of well-known Calvary Chapel pastors. Each story was incredible. To hear how God had restored the lives of so many women was such a joy and inspiration. But when I reached the end of the book and found empty pages designed for me to write my own testimony in, I (like Tim Hawkins), lowered and shook my head, and sighed.

“I was never into drugs, I didn’t abort a baby or give it up for adoption, and I haven’t committed adultery or gotten a divorce. I’m not even married yet! So why put my simple story in?”

But then it hit me right between the eyes. How silly I am! To think that God’s work of salvation in my life is any less incredible that anyone else’s! My story is just as amazing. Not because God delivered me out of those sins, but because He kept me from falling into them to begin with!

Think about it. He has protected and cared for me my entire life. I was born into a Christian home, to Christian parents. My dad is even a pastor! For as long as I can remember, my parents have poured the word of God into me. They homeschooled me, saving me from the heavy peer-pressure and exposure to sin I was not prepared to face.

Not only did God protect me as a child, but he has continued to do so throughout my teen years. Think about it again. I am eighteen years old. I have never used drugs, never smoked, never had one sip of alcohol, and have never had sex. I’ve never even been kissed or had a boyfriend! And not because no one would have me, but because of God’s grace.

Sadly, to be eighteen and never done those things is an extreme rarity in our culture. But I am not pointing this out to show you what a great young woman I am, rather, to prove to you that the fact that I am still a virgin, the fact that I have never tasted alcohol, smoked, or done drugs is the most incredible testimony to God’s goodness and mercy!

If you’re a Christian and a homeschooler, you probably have never done these things either. But don’t allow that to make you feel as though your testimony is any less than others. Each and every Christian has a story, and each and every one is incredible for different reasons. So regardless of our tale, let us all be overwhelmed with gratefulness that the God of the universe sent His Son to die on a cross so that we might be saved!

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