Don’t you love listening to radical testimonies of salvation? The ones where the person who hated God, lived off of drugs and anger and played the victim card at every turn suddenly saw Jesus. The ones that remind you Christ can save anyone, regardless of past or even present sin.
These stories give hope and joy. But if you are the person who grew up in a Christian home, prayed “the prayer” at age 6 and never had a rebellious stage, you might feel a little lost or useless. How can your life and story of salvation convict and encourage others if you never really experienced the moment of turning from years of sin?
Believing the lie
It’s not from jealousy we think our story isn’t good enough. We certainly don’t want the past and baggage that come with years of living apart from God. What then, causes us to feel slightly awkward when we’re asked to share about the moment we accepted Christ as our Savior?
There’s a worry that saying “I accepted Jesus when I was 6” will be followed by emotionless responses of “Well, that’s really nice” instead of praises to God for pursuing and saving someone lost in sin. We can also wonder if we have a right to feel caught up in God’s grace, since we never really experienced a period of running from Him.
Head knowledge tells us we all were dead in our sins before accepting Christ as our Savior. We know it’s a lie of discouragement telling us our stories are not good enough to bless others. We also know it’s a lie of pride telling us we can’t experience God’s grace fully because we never really strayed from faith.
Yes, we know these things, but until they become more than head knowledge, we will never understand and embrace the blessing and wonder it is to be able to say we have known Christ our entire lives.
The depths of God’s grace
Our stories — or testimonies or however you describe the way you came to Jesus — are never about us. God has provided every believer with unique events to draw us to Himself. All these events point to His glory and love. None of us are immune to the grace of it all. When we feel embarrassed or useless when telling our story, we rob those listening of experiencing the full weight of God’s glory in our lives.
The very fact that you accepted Christ at a young age encourages people more than you might realize. Some Christians grew up not hearing the Name of Jesus, living with parents who didn’t reflect Christ’s love. Jesus was not a part of their childhood at all. Hearing how Christ can shape hearts from a young age and listening to stories about a home centered on the love of Jesus encourages people because it brings hope. It reveals how sin nature doesn’t always capture attitudes and actions of young people. It proves that children can grow up loving God even in a sinful world.
Your “boring” and “ordinary” story brings fresh air into the lives of others as they listen to how God saved your soul at such a young age.
Remembering our sin nature will also snap us out of the lie that we can’t experience God’s grace to the fullest as a result of never experiencing a life of rebellion. You still sin, though, right? You still feel a pull toward things of this world, don’t you? And when the Spirit convicts you of those things, do you turn to God for forgiveness?
You do experience the depths of God’s grace, because you’re living in it right now. Without His compassion, you would be lost in a world of death. You would be dead. Therefore, you can rejoice in the fact that He rescued you from a life of meaninglessness. Just because you haven’t experienced that meaninglessness doesn’t mean you can’t bask in the glory of God’s grace given to you at an early age.
Sharing your testimony
At the end of the day, you shouldn’t feel awkward about your story. You’ve known God your whole life, so why would that not encourage someone? Sharing with others how God has worked in your life since that moment is something for which to praise God.
Also, radical stories are not meant to outshine your own story. The purpose of sharing a testimony is to glorify God’s sacrifice and His grace, not our sin or even how we respond to God. It’s all about God. If that remains our focus as we share our testimonies, we will surely rid our minds of the lies that our story is too ordinary.
Let’s Talk About It: What lies are you believing about your testimony being too ordinary?