One of the most effective tools in your “spiritual tool box” is your personal testimony. You are an expert on your own story. You may not be an apologist, you may not be a theologian, you may not be a Bible scholar, but you are an expert on you. And I bring that up because […]
One of the most effective tools in your “spiritual tool box” is your personal testimony.
You are an expert on your own story. You may not be an apologist, you may not be a theologian, you may not be a Bible scholar, but you are an expert on you.
And I bring that up because one of the best ways to share your faith is to begin with your personal story. Why? Because a person cannot really argue with what God has done for you.
They can argue with you about what the Bible says and argue with you about other things, but they can’t argue with your own story of how Christ transformed you.
Simply put, your testimony is your personal story of how you came to know Jesus Christ. Every believer has a story to tell.
Granted, some may be more dramatic than others, but all testimonies are valid. The fact of the matter is, when you boil it down, we all have the same basic story. Like the blind man who was healed would say, “I was blind, and now I can see!” (John 9:25).
Your personal testimony will include your life before Christ, how you came to Christ, and your life after you came to Christ.
Here are a few tips in sharing your personal story.
1. Don’t Exaggerate or Glorify Your Past.
Accuracy is important. So is truthfulness.
Some people’s “testimonies” change with time. They get more dramatic with each telling. And you’re thinking, “Wait. Did more stuff happen, or are you inflating this a little bit?”
Another problem is making your past sound more appealing than your present: You might say something like, “I had money, women, power, an amazing car … but I gave it all up for the old rugged cross.”
If you have truly been converted, there is no way that your past is better than your present.
2. Don’t Boast About What You Gave Up for Him, but What He Gave Up for You.
I have heard people speak of the “great sacrifices” they made to follow Christ. Listen to Paul’s words about how he viewed his past:
“Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ” (Phil. 3:8).
Understand this is a very specific way Paul used to refer to his past. He could have used other words, but he said, “No. All those things that were so valuable me are excrement. They’re nothing to me compared to what God has done for me.”
3. When You Tell Your Story, It’s Not About You, but Him.
Don’t go overly long in telling your story.
Your story is a bridge, not the destination. The destination is Jesus and His story: His love for humanity, death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead.
Just give the big picture and sum it up: You had your eyes opened. You’ve turned from darkness to light. Your life is no longer under the power of Satan but the power of God. And for that, He deserves all glory.
You might even close your testimony with a question. You tell your story, then you ask, “You know, have you ever heard anything like this before?” And then you can share the gospel message that changed your life.
4. Offer Your “Recommendation.”
When you share the gospel, you don’t have to pull out a pulpit. You don’t have to elevate your voice. Think of sharing the gospel as making a recommendation.
We all like to give recommendations. We recommend restaurants. We recommend movies. So here’s what I’m saying: Go into all the world and offer a recommendation for the gospel.
Some of the most effective evangelists I know are not pastors or preachers or evangelists. They’re just regular Christians in every walk of life, and they just share their faith.
So look for those opportunities to share your story and get the gospel out.
This article originally appeared on Greg’s blog and is reposted here by permission.