Some time back at Bible study, we had to answer the following question in the study guide:
Why do we often think our story [of our encounter with Jesus] has to be really impressive to be used by God?
Never mind that it was a leading question1, almost everyone held the opinion that the more dramatic the story, the better. I was the only one with an opposing view, and not because I’d been influenced by the question 🙂
Disclaimer: I have an intensely boring testimony. I’ve been a church-goer as long as I can remember. I can’t even give the date of my new birth (as a tween, I answered altar call after altar call after altar call). Again, that’s not why I think that every testimony is spectacular.
I think so because God seems to think so:
- A person in Christ is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15)
- A believer has ceased being an enemy of God (Romans 5:10) and has been reconciled to Him (2 Corinthians 5:19; Ephesians 2:15-16; Colossians 1:19-22)
- A believer is no longer an object of wrath (Ephesians 2:3), but of love, having been adopted into God’s family (Galatians 4:1-7; Ephesians 1:5, 2:19)
- The child of God has been turned from darkness to light (Acts 26:18; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; 1 Peter 2:9)
- The child of God has passed from death to life (Romans 6:23; 2 Timothy 1:10; 1 John 3:14)
- A Christian has received new birth into a living hope and an imperishable inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-4)
- The Christian has had his/her heart of stone removed and replaced with one of flesh (Jeremiah 31:33-34; Ezekiel 11:19-20, 36:26)
And that’s just a small slice of what the Bible says!
Further, I’ve got two points against ‘amazing stories’. First, the way they are told sometimes lays more emphasis on the sinner and the sins than on the Saviour; it feels like people are trying to outdo each other in regard to their previous sins. Second, those stories can end up reinforcing the notion that Christianity is for that kind of people. Those with really messed-up lives. Consequently, those living a quiet respectable middle-class existence don’t see their need for salvation.
In conclusion: everyone needs Christ, and it is stupendously marvellous each time someone turns to Him for salvation!
1 A leading question is one which suggests the answer or contains the information the inquirer is seeking.