As Jesus approached the time of the cross, He instructed His disciples to testify about Him after His death. He urged them, in His departure, to serve as evidence of His existence and true identity.
Today, the call to give testimony remains.
I often have the privilege of witnessing God transform people’s lives. In the aftermath, the questions I hear are, “How do I testify to what God has done?” and “I want people to know what God can do, how do I tell my story?”
The desire to share comes easily because of gratitude, but the how to share can be arduous because of the decisions involved.
How much is the right amount to say?
Do I divulge all the details, or remain vague?
Do I tell a few close friends, or post on Facebook and hope it goes viral?
Before you go public with your story, here are 4 things to consider.
- Are you ready to be vulnerable?
Vulnerability defined is to be exposed to potential harm. Every time we give testimony, we face the potential response of rejection or indifference. Let’s be honest. When rejection happens, it hurts! Being grounded with Christ in identity can protect against being rag-dolled by the opinions of man.
Hint: Consider whether you are securely attached to Him in the areas you’ll be sharing about. If not, take time to establish this first.
- Are you willing to be authentic?
Authenticity refers to being genuine or real. When sharing, we can opt to tell the story with hopes we will look good, be applauded, and draw people to ourselves OR we can tell the story with hopes Christ will look good, be glorified, and draw people to Himself. The result of our stories told won’t likely be both. It’s better for us and others not to share than to create a façade.
Hint: Consider who you want to see exalted. Authenticity allows both you and God to be seen for who you really are.
- Are you looking for intimacy?
Intimacy is the sense of close familiarity or togetherness in being known; it involves reciprocity. This back and forth type of bond, is better developed in personal relationships than through public speaking or writing. Giving to the masses does not guarantee we will be cared for in return. If our motivation to share is to benefit from care in return, we are looking for intimacy that cannot be fulfilled in a public forum.
Hint: Consider whether telling your story is a gift or an ask. When you are willing to give it with no strings attached you ready to share it publicly.
- Are you focused on the sin or the victory?
Christ did not command His disciples to testify to the details of their sin and brokenness. He urged them to give witness to Him. Christ came to set people free from sin, despair, and an old identity. The details we provide ought to describe the tension and conflict that precipitated God’s action—this will include information about us. But the focus in sharing those details must be to help the hearer understand the magnificence of God in the middle of a mess, not to glorify the mess itself. The Lord is the focus of the story, the main character, the mighty protagonist. Us and our details are the backdrop on which He displays His majesty.
Hint: Consider whether the details glorify the mess, or the victory over the mess. Introduce your conflict and tension, then let the Hero steal the show.
Lord Jesus, give us courage to testify to Your existence, Your identity, and Your power. Give us discernment about how our experiences compliment the truth about You. Stop us in our tracks when we’re missing the mark.