When Your Testimony Doesn’t Shock and Awe

There’s just something about a story. We all love to hear tales of transformation. True metamorphosis pulls us to the very edge of our seats. We are moved to tears by the testimonies of sinners transformed into saints. But what if your testimony is boring? Maybe it sounds a lot like mine, a little something like this . . . I grew up in a relatively happy home. I was a good kid who didn’t get into trouble. Then I met Jesus. He’s so irresistible, I couldn’t help but give my life to Him. Now I try to serve Him faithfully. I love my church. I love my Bible. I love Jesus. The end. While the story you just read is true, it’s also kind of . . . vanilla. It’s my story, and I’m grateful for every second of it, but it doesn’t exactly shock and awe. Sure, surrendering my life to Jesus tore my life into two halves. There was life before Christ and life after Him, but on the outside this doesn’t look like an extreme makeover. The before and after pictures don’t look that radically different. Make no mistake, I am a sinner in desperate need of God’s grace, but He has protected me from wandering too far down the path of sin. There are no skeletons in my closet, no criminal records, no massive public failures. There’s just life without Jesus and life with Him. It’s not the kind of testimony that people line up around the block to hear, but I still need to tell it often. If your testimony feels underwhelming, you need to tell it, too. Here’s why.

Ours Is a Story of God’s Goodness

If you were born into a Christian family, that’s because God is good. If you avoided the trappings of sexual sin, that’s because God is good. If you heard the gospel at a young age and responded to it, that’s because God is good. If you grew up in a home where your needs were met, that’s because God is good. While certainly God’s mercy to those in need of dramatic rescue should make us stand up and cheer, so should His kindness toward those of us who were blessed with happier beginnings. If you’ve been insulated from suffering and sin, don’t feel embarrassed. Celebrate it! Don’t drum up drama for drama’s sake. It’s okay to say, “God has gifted me with a loving family and helped me avoid the trappings of sin, because He is good.”

Ours is a Story of God’s Grace

We all need Jesus. From the homeless crack addict living on the streets to the straight-A sophomore who's never had a boyfriend. Sure, our sin patterns may look different, but we all have them. The tie that binds is our need for a Savior. If you’ve always been a “good girl,” don’t let that blind you to the truth. God’s Word tells us this:

“None is righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10).

None of us have what it takes to be holy as God is holy. In that way, all of our stories begin the same. We are sinners, separated from the God who made us. God sees that sin and sends the rescue chopper for each of us. Old or young, rich or poor, gentile or Jew, boy or girl, addicted or in control . . . the list goes on and on. Some of the details of our stories may differ, but we are united by our massive need for grace and God’s generous helpings of it. God’s grace covers the sins that come in all shapes and sizes.

Ours Is a Story of God’s Church

Look around your church next Sunday. Notice the variety. Like patches sewn into the same quilt, we’re all cut from different cloths. Some will have radical testimonies of deliverance. Some will have stories of God’s unending faithfulness. Some will know what it’s like to live in the dark. Some have spent their days in the light. It all matters. It all glorifies God. God created us all in His image and died for each of us. The Church needs your story as much as it needs the story of someone who can fill a stadium with listeners.

Whatever Your Story Is, Tell It

It doesn’t matter if your testimony seems to lack flavor or if it is as spicy as a ghost pepper. The point of your story isn’t you anyway. It’s Jesus! I love the promise in Revelation 12:11:

“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”

How do we overcome? By Jesus’ sacrifice and the power of our stories. Whatever story God has written with your life, tell it. The point is not to shock and awe others with how you’ve changed, but with who Christ is. Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story” (niv). If God has worked in your life, you have a story to tell. I’d love to hear it. Share your testimony in a comment below.

About the Author

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is married to her high school sweetheart, Jason, and together they parent four energetic boys on their small farm in the midwest. She is the author of more than a dozen books and Bible studies, the content manager for Revive Our Hearts, and a host of the Grounded videocast. You can hear her teach on The Deep Well with Erin Davis podcast.