If you have grown up in church, like me, you have surely heard the term testimony before. I think of a testimony as sharing with others about something that God has done in your life. A testimony can be shared among a group, a congregation or one on one. The testimony should allow others to see that God was able to help you in your situation and encourage the listener to believe God to help them in their similar situation. Unfortunately, in some churches, testimony sharing turns into story time and people end up bragging on themselves more than they are telling about something God did or they are sharing with complete transparency and become the hot gossip of the month.
Recently the church I attend has begun small groups. The planning and preparation brought out some insecurities that people in the body of Christ carry. One of those is fear of sharing our testimony. We shout the word accountability and push for connection with others but how can people walk together as sisters and brothers in the body of the church without being judged as they share transparent testimonies.
I have been guilty of shaming someone behind their back for their actions when they were merely giving a testimony to open my eyes and heart to their personal walk. But the only way you get to one year of celibacy is by being able to see the victory of the first time you turned down that text of someone asking you to come by. The only way to be able to rejoice over ten years of sobriety is to also rejoice over the first month of sobriety. I bet if you think about your own life and some of the personal things you have experienced and situations you had challenges getting through you don’t even share a testimony about those things when occasions arise. If you do share the testimony, you leave out details that would help others. The testimony has a purpose.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying share ALLLLLLL the juicy details for entertainment. That’s what reality T.V. shows are for! LOL!!! The reality is that none of us are perfect and we never will be perfect as long as we are here on earth. There’s no need in trying to hide the parts about the times we lied, stole, cheated, etc. to paint this picture of “perfection” when the reality is that we were incomplete, messed up and needed a Savior to make us whole and push us into our purpose. Listen, if you don’t catch anything else in this blog entry, I need for you to understand this point. You are not perfect; your testimonies are not meant to make you look or sound perfect and God does not want you to be perfect. You are purposed, your testimonies are purposed, and God has allowed or helped you through situations that occurred during your journey in life to get you to your destiny, your calling, your PURPOSE. Part of that is sharing the journey you have experienced with others.
When we share our testimonies with others, we are basically saying that we have been where that person is right now, letting them know how we got through it and all that God did for us. The testimony will help them to see that they aren’t going crazy as they experience the emotions they have and shut up the voice of the devil making them think they are alone and God can’t help them get through whatever it is they are experiencing. The person or people who hear your testimony will see that you were able to keep going and moving through the destiny God designed for your life. It will also encourage them to seek God to do the same for their life.
So, the next time you have an opportunity to share your testimony, don’t hide in fear. Ask the Holy Spirit for boldness to share what God has done in your life. If someone talks about you, that’s between them and God because your testimony has purpose!