This weekend, Teen Challenge came to my church.
They sang and shared powerful testimonies of God’s transformation in their lives. If you’ve ever heard them or similar groups share miraculous stories of deliverance from drugs, alcohol, and gangs, I bet many of you can relate to this thought: I wish my testimony was less boring.
Of course, we don’t wish we were addicted to drugs or involved in gangs; instead, we’d be satisfied with a near-death experience or a miraculous, road-to-Damascus encounter.
But instead, we’re stuck with some variation of, “I went to a camp when I was seven and raised my hand to accept Jesus into my heart” (there’s mine). It’s great, of course; it’s just not the kind of testimony likely to move people to tears.
I know what it’s like to hear inspiring stories of lives transformed by the gospel and think, “What about me?”
If you have a “boring testimony,” then let the three points below spark a fresh fire in your heart.
1. Your testimony is not your own.
What I mean is this: No one has ever saved themselves from sin. What makes testimonies powerful isn’t primarily your experiences, but the experience of God’s grace in your life. Whatever your story, ultimately it’s the gospel that changes you.
This should change the way you approach your testimony. Is it amazing that you went to VBS and said yes to Jesus in third grade? Not from a human standpoint. But is it amazing that God in His mercy:
– Chose you before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4),
– Adopted you into his family in love (Eph. 1:5),
– Redeemed you from sin (Eph. 1:7),
– Opened your eyes to the mystery of salvation (Eph 1:9),
– Marked you with the Holy Spirit, the very presence of God in us (Eph 1:13)?
If you think that’s boring, you need to get your heart checked.
2. Your testimony does not begin and end the day you were saved.
I’m convinced that a lot of young people leave the church because they think, “I was saved, so now I’m good.” Belief in Jesus becomes fire insurance rather than a living and active relationship.
The same is true for our testimony. Your testimony certainly began on the day you first “accepted Jesus into your heart,” but it doesn’t end there. Your testimony is the story of your life from the moment you were born to today. Sometimes the best testimony you can give is not, “How did you get saved,” but, “What is God doing in your life today?”
3. A radical testimony is not required to live a radically Jesus-centered life.
This clicked for me in high school. What do these people with radical testimonies have that I don’t? Nothing. We’ve both received the same forgiveness and been given the same Holy Spirit and promises to trust.
Yes, the Bible says that those who have been forgiven much love much, and “he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:37). This passage, while certainly addressing an individual experience, is better understood as a story about perspective. All of us are saved through faith from the consequences of sin and death—some people just see that more clearly than others. Yet all of us, through studying the Bible and seeing what God has done for us, have the opportunity to expand our perspective.
You have just as much of a right to radical joy and life and passion as a former drug-addict. If you’re living a boring Christian life, it’s not rooted in a “boring” testimony but in a boring perspective.
At the end of the day, I want to celebrate with the people who have radical testimonies. Yes, it’s true—if God can save them, He can save anyone. He can even save you, the kid with the boring testimony, so that you too can live a radical life of obedience and faith in Jesus Christ.
A boring testimony is nothing short of miraculous. Your testimony continues today, is rooted in the power of the gospel, and empowers you now to live a life of faith. I wonder, do you realize how powerful your boring testimony really is?
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Loved this! Thank you for this great article!
Im loving your website as well 🙂 Great work, great message!
This is great!
Yes, it isn’t boring when someone is raised from the dead.
And also, #3 helped me as sometimes I’m like ‘If only I had a conversion that was big’ maybe it wasn’t big from a human perspective, but I mean, angels sung in heaven. I think that’s true, tell me if I’m not:D
For real! There aren’t “degrees” of being dead—and all of us have been raised to life in Jesus!
I loved this article! Often I find myself thinking about how awesome God’s plans are, and what he has planned for all of us. I am so thankful when I see other’s testimonies, and how “ordinary” mine is compared to their pain. It also humbles me when I’m ungrateful.
True! Thanks for sharing. It really is humbling to realize how much we have to praise God for!
Thanks so much! This is a great reminder for me. I always thought my testimony was because I couldn’t even identify the exact “moment” I became a Christian… But it’s all about what God did and not about what I did.
You’re right, Hannah! Thanks for the feedback!
This is good. I love how you point yo God’s work instead of just our experience.
Experience is important, but ultimately it’s God’s work in us that makes our testimony truly miraculous!
Wow! Thank you for this, Camden! It encouraged me and helped me see my testimony in a new light. 🙂
Awesome! I’m so glad to hear it, Anna!
Very good article, Camden. I believe a good majority of Rebelutionaries just so happen to be the people with “boring” testimonies, making this article all the more relevant. I especially like the simplicity of your piece; normally after reading an article I think, “Now what did I just read…?”, but this one stands apart to me in that I can remember what it said because the message was so clear.
Thanks for that, Olivia; I appreciate it! This was a lesson I learned as one of those majority Rebelutionaries, and I wanted to pass it along. Thanks for reading!
Great reminder, Camden! I used to feel like my testimony was boring…then I heard Louie Giglio say, “You don’t have a good testimony? You should meet Jesus and get saved!!” 🙂
That’s awesome! Giglio is great. Thanks for sharing!
I appreciate this post. Although I have two things to add.
First off, following God’s commandments is RARE these days when most youth are thinking impure, watching bad movies, listening to the wrong music. It is a testimony to stay pure and avoid temptation and see how your walk grows in Christ.
Second, DO NOT LET YOUR TESTIMONY WITH GOD BE BORING. Is your relationship with your best friend really boring or is it because you don’t do anything fun or crazy with him? Do you really just sit around or do you go on adventures. GO ON ADVENTURES WITH GOD, JUMP OFF (FIGURATIVE) CLIFFS WITH HIM, SACRIFICE YOUR ALL IN ALL TO HIM. When you truly give God everything let me tell you, you will have stories to share of God’s work in your life. I know for me I have not one testimony but many all in all leading to Oh how merciful my loving God is who rescued me.
Great thoughts! Thanks for adding them, Brooke!
Thanks Camden! Good article. As someone who’s shared my ‘boring’ testimony at scores of places, this resonates, and it’s very true that we partake in the same salvation as the ex-tough guy. You had several good points, and I appreciated the splash of humor in between the weighty subject matter. May the Lord continue to bless you with His intense presence!
Great article! Definitely something I need to hear
This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently…. Thanks for sharing this article and broadening my thought process!
Thank you for this reminder Camden! This was something I struggled with so much when I was younger, as I had the typical grow-up-in-Christian-home-find-Jesus-when-young story, but the most awe-inspiring, fantastic part of any testimony (be it ‘plain’ or ‘exciting’) does not come from what we’ve done, but what He’s done. Because if the Son of God Himself took on flesh and endured excruciating death for my sin, how can I ever claim that my testimony is boring? So thank you for this!