Years ago, I read something that really had a profound effect on me. It was speaking on having a testimony. This bit talked about keeping it clear, concise, and preferably relatively short. But the most important factor was to hit the key point in the listener's mind: What difference has God made in your life? What a concept! But of course! Really, it should have been obvious to me from the get-go, but it just wasn't. If ever that precious window opens up and someone genuinely wants to know more about God, you can be pretty sure that the main thrust of their concern will be what kind of impact God could have on them by seeing how it has changed you. I had heard a million times about describing the experience of being saved, and having a list of verses memorized that described the who/what/why/what to do of being saved. Please do not misunderstand, Bible verses always trump! Nothing is as moving and convicting and alive as the Word. What I am saying here, though, is that I think that there are a lot of Christians who forget to personalize it, to reveal to those they are speaking to where they have started and where they are now because of God. "No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care." It seems a bit counter-intuitive, but becoming vulnerable to someone is a clear signal that you care about them. For me, the most disturbing and startling part of reading this testimonial advice was realizing that I could not think of one way in which having God in my life had made a difference. I had my testimony of how and when all down pat. I had Bible verses all set up for walking through the process and the questions. But if anyone would have found out the inner life I was living, they would not have hesitated to say "Pass!" I was truly a terrible person. And not terrible in the "I now consider my good works as filthy rags before the Lord" kind of way, just straight up terrible. I had an explosive temper and a tendency to want to argue. I would slice and dice people with my sharp tongue and rapier sarcasm. I never did anything for anybody except in a self-important and boy-aren't- I-good kind of way. I was selfish, manipulative, and extremely depressed to the point of being suicidal. And I kept a tight grip on those reigns of control. Suffice it to say, I was not heeding the "working out my salvation with fear and trembling" bit. It slowly came to me that the reason I could not say that God had made a difference in my life was because I was not letting Him. I wanted to be the boss, no one else. But seeing this simple snapshot of how I could not even say that the Absolute King, Lord, God Almighty has given me a little peace in life really shook me up and gave me a new perspective. It kick started a grueling process that has been painful, long-lasting, and truly freeing. Now that I have demolished the "clear, concise, and preferably relatively short" part of things, let's get on with this past month. In the last month there has been an utter barrage of bad things going on. My husband and I found out we needed to get a replacement car, setting us back financially yet again. He has been getting very few customers, so income and morale is low there. I found out that the late cycle I had previously written about was not just late but most likely a miscarriage. My son's teacher requested a parent-teacher meeting because of his continuing disruptive behavior at school. My husband came down with the flu last week. I have the flu now. And most tragically, my husband's grandfather suddenly passed away yesterday morning. Yes, there has definitely been stress. There have absolutely been tears. But the arguments that destroy have been themselves destroyed. The voice that would wish for death is silent. And I have my God, and He has me. Have Your way in me, O Lord.
We really do have to "Let go and let God", don't we ?
But the wonderful thing is that God will always bring us to a point where we are faced with the choice of letting him in to change us. or deciding to stay as babies and toddlers in the faith.
You have had the wisdom to give God space to mould you... Thats a fantastic testimony in itself.
By the way, are you feeling better yet?
I cringed as I was reading this for that description you gave of yourself sounded uncomfortably familiar...
You have an incredible testimony. Often we cannot see it in ourselves but others see it in us. When I got cancer, I was completely freaking out... I thought. This was why I got caught off guard when one by one I had co-workers approach me. They wanted to know why I seemed to have peace and even joy about the whole situation. They didn't see the fear and anxiety that would creep up on me from time to time. What they saw was God holding my hand. You cannot possibly know the impact you have on others. You might never know it while in this world but you do. People are watching you.
You have been through some very rough battles and yet...your little boat is still sailing on. That is a testimony, isn't it? A testimony that God is bigger. Isn't that what we all need to know? Don't we need to know that these word in 2 Corinthians 4 are true? [verse=2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NLT)]We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.[/verse] And that is exactly what is happening.
[quote]"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care." It seems a bit counter-intuitive, but becoming vulnerable to someone is a clear signal that you care about them. [/quote]
Thanks for caring about us this much, but why do you care about us? Just makes us want to know how much YOU KNOW now.
Love your thoughts!
I'm so glad to read this! It's wonderful to know He cares about our growing up in Him. What if our Father was as judgmental as we are? Oh my! Blessings to you, who! I know things are trying to crush in on you, but I know He Who holds tomorrow, holds you today.