Wednesday, February 4, 2009

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...sharing your story

Currently, my husband is teaching on Galatians in our adult Sunday School class at my church. First of all, I must take this moment to say, that my husband is one of the greatest teachers I have ever sat underneath. He is awesome, and I don't just say that because he gave me a ring to wear. (ha ha)

One thing that he is planning to do in a few weeks is have us write out our testimony. or in other words, tell our spiritual story.

Isn't that an awesome idea?

One of the most important things we can share is ourselves! At a very early age, we learned that in order to be "nice" you had to "share". Remember...
  • in order to have a cookie...you had to have enough to share with all of your friends.
  • in order to play with a certain toy...you had to share it with another friend; take turns.
Sharing is something that some kids just never learn. Years ago I read a poem that totally depicts this...
"Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
And if I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my toys to break,
So none of the other kids can use 'em...Amen
(Shel Silverstein)

And as kids grow up to be adults, we tend to hold onto this same principle. We would rather lose everything than open up to others. Especially the things of our past that may not be pleasing to think about.

Paul was not one who found it difficult to share his story with others. Even his difficulties. For example, Ananias hesitated to even help Paul because he heard about how much evil he had done. (Acts 9:13-14) Faced with this kind of question, would it not have been natural for Paul to be hesitant to tell his story to others?

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the question, "What do you remember doing as a youth that you are now ashamed of?" The top 3 answers were:

1. 63% of those voting said that they were indeed ashamed of something they did.
2. 27% voted and said they were ashamed of lying to their parents.
3. 18% of the readers voted and said they were ashamed of teasing or hurting a sibling.

Most of us do not enjoy reliving our mistakes. We just want to put them behind us and go on. But Paul did share his story...failures and all! Paul realized that God could use his story to help others learn from his mistakes. What was comfortable for Paul was not as important as giving God glory and honor for what He had done in Paul's life.

GALATIANS 1:22 -24 "I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. (23) They only heard the report. 'The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.' (24) And they praised God because of me."

So if you were to sit down and write out your spiritual story, as Paul did, what would you include? Let's look at Paul's example:

1. TELL IT HOW IT USED TO BE
Paul started by sharing how his life used to be before he came to Christ. He violently persecuted Christ and the Church which he later came to love. Christians whose testimonies include turning from such things as alcohol or drug addiction or crime can have such an impact on those that are dealing with those things at the present time. But at the same time, the one who has a testimony of being raised in a Christian home and not really having a big, dramatic turnaround can have just as much of an impact on others by sharing their story.

2. TELL WHAT GOD DID FOR YOU
Paul recognizes the actions that brought about the positive change in his life.

GALATIANS 11:15,16 "When God, Who set me apart from birth and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me."

We can never be the changed person in God on our own merit. Paul knew that the change in his life occurred solely by God's free gift of forgiveness. We must convey to the unbeliever that change comes from the grace of God.

3. TELL WHAT GOD HAS DONE THROUGH YOU TO BENEFIT OTHERS
Paul clearly points out that it was because of what God did in his life, that the Gentiles were able to receive the gospel. When God changes us, He will use us to benefit others for His kingdom.

Our spiritual stories can touch the life's of others. So what would you say if you were asked to share your spiritual story? Have you thought about it?

Why not write out your spiritual story today, and when given the opportunity maybe tomorrow or the next day...you will be ready to share your story.

We are where we are today because somebody cared about us. They cared enough to build a relationship with us and to introduce us to Jesus. What am I doing to share a God legacy with others? For the next few weeks, on Wednesday Weekly Word, I will be sharing some thoughts on how we can touch others in a spiritual, meaningful way. It is my desire to leave a godly legacy behind. How about you?
YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL....please take time to cast your vote in this week's poll. You can find the poll on the sidebar of this blog. YOUR OPINION REALLY DOES MATTER!

3 comments:

Beth in NC said...

That is a great idea. I recorded one little bit of my testimony in a post and now have it linked as "my testimony" in my navigation bar. But wow -- it would take pages to write out my entire story.

Will you be posting your testimony? I would love to read it. I love love love reading the testimonies of others. :o)

Revelation 12:11
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;

Bless you tonight!
Beth

Devita said...

very well written Laurie. I must admit that i sometimes ignore this and choose to be irresponsible. But you have open my eyes and make me realize that I must not do that.

Thank you very much.

Laurie Ann said...

I really enjoyed this post, Laurie. I probably need to re-write my testimony to include how God has truly changed me and is changing me. I need to take a look at it and see if I can brush it up.