Image courtesy of Here’s The Joy
I’ve said these words myself. I have a boring testimony. Who wants to hear the story of a girl who was born into a Christian home, doesn’t remember not going to church – doesn’t even remember getting saved? (I wonder if anything else significant happened at age 3 that I’ve forgotten?) It’s the tattooed violent drug addict turned radical evangelist that draws the crowds – the oohs and ahhs, the tears.
But to speak the lie ‘I have a boring testimony’ misses the point of the story. And the point of the story is (yes, you guessed it) Christ.
It excites us to hear stories of alcoholics and those with abusive childhoods getting saved and getting their lives together. It gives us hope for the seemingly ‘unsavable’ in our lives. Those so-called wrecks that seem beyond redemption or repair.
But a God who saves at age 3, kneeling by your bedside holding hands with your mum holding is every bit as powerful and good and redemptive as the God who pulls an alcoholic out of his own vomit or appears to a Muslim while he dreams in the heart of an Islamic nation.
No salvation story is small because of the greatness – the bigness – of what Jesus did. He gave it all, holding nothing back, to clear the way for us to reconcile with the Father. No one else could have done that. And Jesus wasn’t forced, dragged to the cross protesting the whole way. He chose.
So if you got saved in Sunday school and never strayed off on some wild (subtext ‘interesting’) tangent, you are not boring. Your story is not less valuable. How wonderful to not have to undo the masses of damage incurred by straying, or by others wronging you. Yes, we all have wounds, because this world isn’t perfect and Jesus was the only perfect person to walk this earth, but why go out and sustain more wounds than you have to?
Jesus wants wholeness for us – he wants to restore us and change us from the inside out. He can show us how to live the best, most fulfilling life possible (John 10:10). I am extremely thankful that I was born into a Christian home. Sometimes I’ve wondered why I was chosen for this amazing, godly set of parents while others grow up malnourished in orphanages or beat up and neglected by their mum and dad.
‘I’m from a first world country.’
‘I grew up in a Christian home.’
‘My family is wealthy.’
Even, ‘I have olive skin.’
With statements like these, it’s so easy for us to feel superior, when actually none of us did anything to ‘accomplish’ these things. They were chosen for us, and we benefit from them but didn’t do anything to deserve them.
Just like salvation. One of us was not more deserving than the person beside us. It’s not a given right, but a gift from an incredibly gracious God.
In Romans 5:8 the Jubilee Bible 2000 says, “But God increased the price of his charity toward us in that while we were yet sinners the Christ died for us.”
The beneficiaries of charity did nothing to earn it, and usually have no way to ever pay it back. That’s the position that we are in with Christ, and so in this way HE gets all the glory, not us. Just like God intended.
And there’s nothing about Christ, in all his glory and majesty and splendour, that’s boring.
Image: Davis, R 2019, ‘woman-looking-out-the-window-young’, Here’s The Joy, https://www.heresthejoy.com/2016/12/holding-hope-for-2017/woman-looking-out-the-window-young/, accessed 28 April 2019.