Recently, I gave you a slant* telling of my personal testimony. It was a safe version without too many details, but enough for you to know I am a sinner, saved by grace.
If you are a follower of Christ, perhaps your most important life story is the one in which you encountered Jesus and came away changed. It’s that way for me. And, while I chose to share it with you here in rather general terms, I’m prepared to give the full testimony when and where God leads.
Here are six steps you should take as you prepare to share your faith story, followed by a word or two of caution.
- Seek God. We must reflect on our stories before we can share them, especially our personal testimony of faith — how, when and where you claimed the salvation and eternal life offered by Christ. Take time alone with God, pray over and through the experience and the words you choose to convey it. Look at all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly, and commit it to Him.
- Open your hands. As you pray and reflect, willingly ask God to show you specifically when and where He would use your testimony to speak to the heart of another. Do not doubt — you are the right person for the job the Lord has given you. All of your story has led you and will continue to lead you to places where only you can minister.
- Put on the full armor of God. Whenever we testify about the Lord, Satan is on the prowl. No need to fear, just be prepared. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Read all of Ephesians 6:10-18)
- Practice. Practice. Practice. Let someone you trust hear your testimony before you offer it to individuals who may need to hear it. Choose a person you consider to be wise, trustworthy and filled with the Holy Spirit. Then listen. Even if the critique hurts, trust that the wounds of words spoken in truth will produce growth in you.
- Be joyful! While your testimony may come out of sadness, brokenness, heartache, you can testify that God has rescued you from the sin of dwelling in dark places and set you on higher ground. In telling your story, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with joy that comes from knowing God. It will be contagious!
- Remember that it’s not all up to you. If you are faithful to share your story in God’s leading, trust that He will be responsible for its effectiveness. There is great danger is wanting to do this to perfection, expecting to see immediate fruit. Only God is perfect, and only the power of the Holy Spirit can move in a soul to bring about salvation. Your job is to faithfully share God’s goodness in your life, then leave the rest up to God.
My words of caution? Understand that as you share your story of redemption, you may be reminded how great your need was to be redeemed. But rest assured, your history and the stories surrounding it will never be “too much” for those receiving it. Learn to rest in the grace you have experienced through Jesus Christ. It’s possible that telling your story will grow your faith.
*tell it slant: to tell the truth – the whole truth – indirectly, in a circuitous fashion, from Emily Dickinson’s poem:
Tell all the Truth but tell it slant –
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind –
You can download a FREE copy of my booklet Do Tell! Why Your Life Stories Matter and How To Capture Them by clicking HERE.
Life stories knit us together, whether to family or to others who just need to know they are not alone. In these 31 days of October, I’ll be exploring the importance of STORY. You can read all 31 days by following the links under “31 Days of Story”. And, you can read blogs from other writers taking the #Write31Days challenge by visiting the website here.
Tomorrow: Storytelling Examples from Literature