For believers, the testimony of which they found faith is powerful. Through your story you can show others about your faith.
In Christian culture we tend to be attracted to the typical beauty from ashes testimony. We invite speakers into our places of worship, read books, and personally ask questions about their story. In a way I grew up in this type of culture. My mom’s good friend ran a few ministries for teen girls who were hurting from the sorrows of life. Being too young to stay home alone, I spent many hours at her home and she would have ladies come over and they would tell their story. For a period of time in my life this was the normal for me. It felt as if everyone in the church had the big testimony but when I started going to the private Christian school that I graduated from I found a different side of life.
The testimony culture that I had grown up in wasn’t at the school. It seemed that besides one or two teachers nobody had (or at least shared) the beauty from ashes testimony. I was at that school for five years and I had one friend (who didn’t stay very long) who openly admitted that their testimony was lengthy and having Jesus by their side doesn’t mean that they have that “perfect life” that Christians seem to portray to have.
I couldn’t seem to grasp the concept of someone not having the long drawn out testimony. My junior year of high school I learned the other side of this. On the bus coming home from a school trip my peers started talking about testimony culture. They were expressing the pressure to have a long testimony but my peers didn’t have this. Most of them grew up in a middle to upper class family, in a good neighborhood, a good home life, and became a follower at the age of three or four. So far they didn’t have anything bad or worth sharing about. From at least the outside they had perfect lives, even though it wasn’t, it was portrayed that way when they compared it to the testimonies we here about all the time.
I personally think that this is the enemy’s way to distort testimonies. I think the danger of being surrounded by testimony culture is that if you don’t have that life changing beauty from ashes testimony you may feel that you are not a good Christian because God didn’t use you in ways that others have been used.
If you are feeling this way, let me give you some Shalom. You are not a bad Christian just because you have had what seems to be a perfect life. If your testimony is short, that’s great! It’s still Christ’s amazing grace that you found Him. You are not any less of a member of the church. I challenge you to keep getting to personally know God. Keep up the good work. Grow strong because some time your faith will be tested in a way you have never felt before.
If you have the long drawn out testimony, good for you! You are not any less or any more a part of the church because of your experiences. I challenge you to continue to share your testimony with others so that they may get a closser glimpse of what Christ has the capabilities to transform.
Despite our pasts we are all the same in the church. Go and share your life experiences and wisdom with others.