Testimony. It’s a word that should be familiar to anyone who grew up in the church. As early as the second grade, I can remember my Sunday school teachers coaching us on the importance of our testimony. A testimony was supposed to be something deeply personal. It was the story of how God came into our lives and rescued us.
The trouble was, my friends and I quickly discovered our spiritual memoirs were pretty boring. In the past, we’d listened to Christians recount how God had delivered them from drug addiction, alcoholism, divorce, a life of crime, etc. The worst thing any of us had done was accidentally stay out after curfew. Who was going to be drawn to Christ by that? Sadly, this mindset persists among many believers today, the idea that our testimony must be extreme to be effective.
However, Matthew Crawford believes our experiences have more to offer than we realize. In a recent article for Ethics and Religious Liberty Comission, Crawford offers several reasons why even a common testimony can be amazing. Below, you’ll find two of his remarks supplemented with two observations of my own.
- Christians have passed from death to life (John 5:24)! You were justly bound for an eternity in hell, and now you will enjoy face-to-face knowledge of your Creator and Savior forever. The difference between those two realities is immeasurably greater than the difference between the sinful behavior of a drug dealer and the sinful behavior of a ‘well-behaved’ but still unregenerate kid who was forced to attend church. As we share testimonies, the goal is not to compare our previous former lives, but to compare who we were with who we are now.”