I heard a fantastic sermon this morning about the importance and individuality of our testimonies. The pastor talked about how everyone has a unique story to share and testimonies are more than just conversions stories.
I used to hate giving my testimony. I thought it was boring. The whole “I-grew-up-a-Christian” spiel was ineffective in my mind. The radical, life-change stories were the ones I thought would win over hearts best. I didn’t realize that conversion was only the beginning of an ongoing story. God doesn’t stop working when someone becomes a Christian. In fact, He’s just getting started. A Christian can see God at work in the big things and the small in their day-to-day life.
You’re probably asking yourself, “Well, if testimonies are so great, why do you have a problem with them?” I don’t.I haven’t changed my mind since coming up with the title and I’m not contradicting myself, I promise. My problem with sharing your faith lies in the word choice and the implications of those words.
The phrase “share your faith” is a common one in churches and the Christian religion. I cringe a little whenever I hear it. The concept is a good one. Share with others how your Christian faith has affected your life and your outlook. But when someone says they have shared their faith with another person, I think of something entirely different.
Share can mean “to tell about” but for me it has always had the connotation of “to divide out equally”. You cannot share your faith in that sense because our faith is only for ourselves. We can’t believe for other people.
My other problem lies in “your faith”. While we are saved by our faith in Christ, it is not our faith we should be telling to others. It is God’s grace and mercy and how He works through us despite our many shortcomings that should be our focus. Our faith is the lesser part of the equation that gains us salvation and we shouldn’t make that the selling point of Christianity, especially because we are imperfect human beings who cannot have perfect faith. Instead we should focus on the perfect love of God that redeems us.
So, while “testifying about God’s grace” or “telling about God’s strength in our weaknesses” takes longer to say, I think it’s more accurate.