Writing out my testimony is a tremendously encouraging exercise. Every time I write it out, I write it out differently. Not because the gospel changes (it doesn’t) but because as I grow, and mature (hopefully I am maturing), I begin to see with more clarity what God was doing in my life at different stages. I also come to appreciate the gospel more and cherish it in new ways. Kevin recently posted his testimony in 3oo words, I thought I would follow suite but mine ended up being 600 words when I was finished. This in no way makes me more spiritual than Kevin (it actually probably makes me more long winded and less concise which is a continual problem of mine), but when I sat down to write out my testimony this is what I wrote and I decided that I didn’t want to cut any of it out to make it shorter.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and have never written out your testimony, why not start today. It is a very worshipful experience–it will remind you of the grace of God that you have in Christ and will make you more apt to share it with others.
My testimony in 600 words:
Growing up “Christianity” was going to church from time to time and singing some songs about God and zoning out while some guy who I didn’t know from Adam spoke for 30 minutes about God. I knew Christianity had something to do with Jesus but I wasn’t really sure what that was. I remember singing songs about the cross but it always seemed really sad to me—that this guy who seemed so good died such a horribly painful death.
So I great up relatively unaffected by the cross and more importantly unaffected by Jesus. Because “Christianity” was just something I was involved in and not something I cared about, I spent much of my teenage years trying to get as many people as possible to accept me and like me. I did a lot of foolish things to that end—all while searching for contentment and joy which seemed to be elusive.
During the my later years of high school, I started attending church with some friends who actually seemed to care about Jesus, not just about appearing to care about Him but actually caring and thinking and interacting with Him—and the cross was precious to them. This messed up my whole perception of “Christianity” and in addition, I was hearing the gospel for perhaps the first time in my life.
As I was attending this church and getting to know these people, I was being told that God is holy—He is ultimate—perfect and magnificent in every way. I was also hearing for the first time in my life that there is something deeply wrong with me, something at the core of my being that was keeping me from the contentment I so desperately wanted. What was wrong with me was me. I mean that in all sincerity. I was my biggest problem. I realized that I had spent all my life worshipping myself and trying to find joy in life by doing what I wanted to do and getting people to like me so that I would feel good about myself.
What I was learning was that I was a sinner and that sin is breaking God’s law but more than that, sin is treasuring anything more than I treasure the God who made me. I was learning the true meaning of the cross. I learned that God is holy—perfectly just and I am not and therefore the relationship with Him that I was created for was messed up because of my sin. It became clear to me that I owed my life to God and I had not given it to Him and I deserved to be punished by Him. At the same time I began to learn that the cross was and is the eternal remedy by which that relationship for which I was created could be healed. Jesus offered to take the punishment God owed me for my sin if I would turn from sin and trust Him as Lord. And in return Jesus offered me His righteousness and an eternally satisfying relationship with God. This was simultaneously the most mind boggling and joyous news I had ever heard.
So I gave up on striving for significance through the praise of others, I still struggle with that now, but I have thrown myself at the feet of Jesus and found a joy far more filling and a treasure that will not perish. Perhaps that sort of joy sounds too distant or too idealistic to you, let me challenge you to read one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) and see if Christ doesn’t appear to be the all satisfying treasure of the universe.