There was a point in my life when the thought of sharing my story, for any reason, was petrifying. To share my story would mean being exposed. What good would it do anyway? My story was not one of faith—far from it. My story was not the type that glorified the kingdom of God. After suffering a childhood trauma, I found myself in need of constant validation. Unfortunately, I did not turn to God, nor did I get the help I desperately needed. Instead, I found myself going down the dark path of addiction. As anyone who has dealt with addiction knows, it is a bottomless pit that thrusts you into such a deep level of shame that it is difficult to recover. As a consequence of my addiction, I hurt the people who love me most, and nearly destroyed my entire life. How in the world could God use this story for good?
Oh, how wrong I was! Every story of faith or redemption, no matter how broken the person telling it, brings glory to God’s kingdom. By telling our stories we are helping to witness for God. Jesus called on each of us to acknowledge Him in our lives, and doing so will bring us His acknowledgment before God.
“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges Me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns Me before others will be disowned before the angels of God.” —Luke 12:8–9
Why should we feel compelled to tell our stories? Besides wanting other people to know the same peace, joy, and love that comes with a relationship with Christ, sharing the gospel and our testimonies is something we’re explicitly called to do. Jesus made it clear that just as He was called by God to come and teach us, we are called to share our own faith.
“Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.” —John 20:21
When we are asked to share a great story with someone else, we rarely shy away from the opportunity. In fact, we often jump at the chance to share good news. When it comes to discussing our faith, however, something shifts inside of us, and we are often at a loss for words. God, however, has made it clear that He has given us the ultimate gift for guidance in the Holy Spirit.
“For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” —Luke 12:12
With the Holy Spirit by our side, we are called to push past fear. The Holy Spirit goes beyond just giving us the right words and provides us with the all of the tools we need to share the good news.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline. So, do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.” —2 Timothy 1:7–8
God also instructs us how to approach those people in need of hearing our testimonies. But those testimonies have to be about more than just the words we share. Our actions also speak about our faith and the impact that God has had in our lives.
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” —Colossians 4:5–6
The timing of this may not be of our choice—but God asks us to be prepared at all times.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” —1 Peter 3:15
Bottom line, we have been given grace beyond measure, and we are asked to do very little in return. While sharing our stories might take us outside outside of our comfort zone, we have been given all the tools to speak and act in a way that glorifies God. So let us all go forth and share. Join me and the team at The Redeemed, and let’s tell our stories…