An Inglorious Testimony
In my line of "work," I get to hear incredible stories of how people found God... or where they were when they realized God was looking for them. In Christian circles, we call this our "testimony." Basically, it's our Jesus-story. It's how we share the tale of our spiritual surrender to the love of God in Jesus.
I count myself with others who marvel at stories of those whose coming to Jesus involved blood, alcohol, drugs, sex, astronauts and hostile takeovers. My own faith journey is so quiet in comparison. Yet it's no less significant. Neither is yours - wherever you may count yourself on a continuum of faith.
In Judah, God is known; His name is great in Israel... Glorious are you... You are to be feared." (Psam 76.1,4,7)
As a pastor, it is my earnest hope that my life and our church contribute and enhance God's fame in our cities, campuses and homes. The difficult part of yearning for a better testimony - one that is more engaging, compelling, dramatic and gripping - is the extremes one must face and endure to get it.
I was at a coffee shop the other day where a man seemed compelled to share his opinion on everything ranging from politics to Christianity. He was extremely passionate and creative as he did so. I think he covered every known English profanity that I could possibly think of. I was also uniquely unimpressed by his churlish insistence on talking about male body parts. Out loud. Often.
As he opined on why Christians are narrow-minded idiots with a hapless seatmate, I couldn't help but listen and marvel at the faith story this man could have should he find the joy he so desperately needs in Jesus Christ.
"He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing." (Proverbs 29.1)
According to the verse above, the Lord doesn't keep beating his grace against a wall. As kind as God is, there is a point at which He simply withdraws and allows a soul to choose its own path. Unfortunately for all those who attempt to do so... it's a hot one.
I'm so grateful that my mild-mannered Clark-Kentish testimony exists. God found me. I responded to Him in simple faith. My life has not been perfect. Neither has it been worthless.
What about your testimony? How did God find you? What means did He use to graciously turn your head? Or was it a stern warning?
Before you crave a super-shiny-cool testimony and consider yours an inglorious one, think about where you could be without Christ. Perhaps sitting in a coffee shop over a life so close to hell that it's not the coffee that's steaming.