Stewarding Our Testimony
Passions. Gifts. Talents. Dreams. We all have them, and we all live through the tension of how to use these pursuits for the glory of God and the good of others. The Stewardship Series is a series of installments from the Impressions Team designed to discuss those innate gifts God has given each one of us, and how to steward them for the glory of His Kingdom.
As Christians, and children of God, we all share one powerful, simplistic, yet often overlooked gift from our Heavenly Father.
We all share in the power of our individual testimony, a testimony that recounts all that Jesus Christ has done for us. Our transformations from sinners to cleansed and redeemed children of God is ultimately the greatest gift we have ever been blessed with, and it is imperative that we steward it well.
Often, I think that we tend to hide our true testimonies from people and only share the parts of our story that are within our comfort zone. Personally speaking, I hid my entire life story and all the mistakes, heartaches, and trials I went through for years out of nothing more than fear of judgment and what others might think. So, when the Lord called upon me and told me it was time to share my story last year, even though part of me was utterly terrified to do so, He opened my eyes to see it as an opportunity to share the phenomenal gift I had been given with those in my sphere of influence.
As the Lord has been reminding me of this the last few weeks, I've thought of the many examples in scripture of those with amazing testimonies that used them to reach the masses and change the world. None was more profound to me than the testimony of the Apostle Paul. Paul hated Christians. He persecuted them, and murdered them in the early part of his life journey. He was a sinner just like you and me, and yet, in the transformative work of Jesus Christ, Paul was given the indisputable gift of a testimony that would impact the lives of thousands and lead them to the foot of the cross.
Many of us may not see our testimonies as a gift because we know all the mistakes, pain, heartache, and bad decisions that we made along our journey.
Our mistakes and the former lives we lived are not meant to be hidden from the world once we come to true relationship with Christ, rather, they are meant to be shared as a testament to the truth and power of our Savior.
Paul did exactly this.
Philippians 3:5-9 // I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.
On multiple occasions throughout the New Testament, Paul recounts his testimony and reiterates the revolutionary work of Christ in his life. Paul chose to recognize his testimony as a priceless gift and he pursued a life of stewarding it well for the Kingdom of God.
There is inherent power in two simple words that we can speak to others…ME TOO.
You see, when you share your testimony with others and choose to be candid about your journey, there is a shift that begins to take place in the hearts of those you reach that allows them to see that they are not alone. It allows them to see hope, possibility, and purpose for their own lives. Suddenly, in our choosing to share the gift God has blessed us with, the walls around our hardened and isolated hearts will begin to fall, and Christ's redemptive power can begin to transform us into His image.
Our testimony is never something we should be ashamed of, for it can bring life to others. Our testimony is a precious gift that our Father has blessed us with and it has the potential to change the world.
Titus 3:3-7 // For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.