Every Christian has a testimony, a faith story — an account of how he or she first encountered Jesus, how that encounter changed everything, and how each new encounter with Jesus keeps changing everything.
So take some time to reflect on that. Read Acts 26:1-29, and then think through the following questions:
• How would you describe Paul before he met Jesus?
• How was Paul changed by his encounter with Jesus?
• How did Paul’s transformation affect others?
Not everyone’s story is as dramatic as Paul’s, but all the elements of a good faith story are here. So let’s use Paul’s model to better understand how our own relationships with Jesus have shaped and changed our lives:
• What was your life like before you knew Jesus? (Or, if you were raised to be a Christian, before your faith became personal to you?) What were you like?
• How did God finally get your attention? How did you respond?
• How has your life been different because you know Jesus? What spiritual landmarks in your life can you point to—where you can confidently say, “I know Jesus was in that”?
Voila! You now have a testimony! You may not have realized it before, but just by answering those three questions you’ve created a faith story more real than any canned presentation. So look for opportunities to share it — not to check it off your list, not because you feel guilty, but because someone in your life needs to hear it. And because God gave you this story — your story — so you could share it.
Jesus has revealed himself to each of us and wants to use us to share his love with others. We can share it verbally…we can model Jesus’ love in practical ways…we can be so overwhelmed by Jesus that we simply radiate His joy…but it’s a critical part of our own faith to allow what Jesus has done in our lives to be visible to others.
So, two more questions to think about — and then do something about:
• What parts of your faith do you allow to show, and what pieces do you keep hidden? Why?
• What could you do to give others a more complete picture of what Jesus has done in your life?