We need more boring testimonies!
I guess I should probably clarify a few things from the get go. Firstly, by ‘testimony’ I am referring specifically to the story of salvation in someone’s life. Secondly, there is NO such thing as a boring testimony – for anyone to pass from death to life, to be transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light, to go from God’s enemy to God’s family – requires a mind-blowing miracle of grace that only God can perform! Jesus didn’t just suffer, bleed and die for the overtly messed-up, He died for all because ALL are sinners in need of a Saviour. So no testimony is boring because at the heart of any true conversion story is the cross and resurrection of Jesus – which is anything but boring!
So what the dickens am I on about?
OK, here goes…
There’s a real danger among Christians to think that the ‘best’ testimonies are those that include stuff like sex, drugs, danger, violence, near-death-experiences, battles against adversity etc. Therefore many, like me, who were blessed to grow up in a loving Christian home, can often feel that their story is sub-standard and ‘boring’ because by comparison their story is relatively…safe. I certainly am guilty of laying on thick the ‘bad’ stuff I did pre-Christ to sound like more of a bad-ass, whilst playing down the less dramatic stuff. Now let me be clear here, we are all sinners and the overtly bad stuff that we do is no worse than the more subtle stuff like pride, greed, self-righteousness. It’s all sin and we need salvation from ALL of it.
So here’s where I’m going with this: Now that I’m a father of 4 kids who are unfathomably precious to me, I’m praying that they all have ‘boring’ testimonies. I look at my gorgeous daughters growing up in a perverted, promiscuous and predatory world and I’m praying like crazy that they get to their wedding days pure and without a legacy of broken-hearts and emotional carnage. I look at my sons and plead with God to help them grow up without drug use, swinging fists or getting off on pornography. Don’t get me wrong, each one of my kids is a wretched, corrupt sinner (I know cos I live with them) so above all I’m praying that they get soundly saved and connected to Christ ASAP! I accept that as their dad I have a God-given responsibility to raise them in a godly way. But I also know that God loves my kids more than me and that He is a gracious, prayer-answering God. So I turn to Him for grace.
Because I want part of my own testimony to be that God answers prayer! I am 100% persuaded that the reason I didn’t go too berserk as a kid, go too wild as a teenager and am not currently an obnoxious, dysfunctional man (though some might disagree) is because God answered my parents’ prayers. I am a product of their intercession and therefore any gospel fruit in my life is part of their story. My dad can now testify to a prayer-answering God!
I hope and pray that one day I will be able to testify to the same. That all my kids will be saved. That they will love Christ. That they will have navigated the moral minefield ad spiritual battle-ground of their teenage years and will be living proof that God answers prayer.
- If keep your virginity is boring – praise God!
- If a drug-free life is boring – praise God!
- If going to church (and enjoying it) is boring – praise God!
- If choosing not to roam the streets looking for trouble is boring – praise God!
Those are some of my desires for my kids. Can I enforce them? No. I certainly will not bully them or force them to comply to a set of moral standards that conform to Christian faith. Rather, I will model the gospel and commend Christ to them, praying that God would do such a work in each of their lives that they would desire the ‘boring’ life of Christ.
The beauty of it is that when they choose that life – they’ll find that they actually just embarked on the adventure of a lifetime!