Imagine this. You’ve been in recovery for five years from addiction to pain killers. You’re no poster child for recovery, but you’ve learned a lot of lessons the hard way. You fell, but you got back up.
New in town, you joined the Tuesday night bible study at your church hoping to meet people and make some friends. Then it happens.
Your bible study teacher announces that at each class he will ask one person in the group to share their testimony. You go numb. You break a sweat. Your mouth is already feeling dry.
There is NO way you are going to tell this nice group of folks you just met all the sordid details of your past. You’re there hoping to make friends, not scare them away, whisper behind your back, or grab their children close when you walk by. Not gonna happen.
You examine your options. One, stop going to the bible study. But that might just make people even more suspicious. Ignorance breeds gossip.
Two, pretend to be mute. Unfortunately you already spoke to a few people in the group, so too late for that.
Three, fake a coughing fitjust before it’s your turn to share. That’s not good either.It would just postpone it to another day and people will think you’re contagious and avoid you talking to you.
Four, put on your big boy pants and give your testimony.
This was the situation Mack found himself in shortly after joining an adult bible study. “So much for the book of Romans,” he thought. All Mack could think about was his impending date with disaster. He had one overriding feeling. . .fear.
Why Give Your Testimony
If Mack’s story leaves you in a cold sweat too, you’re not alone. The number one fear of adults is public speaking. In addition is the soul baring, “please don’t judge me” nature of your testimony. No wonder it can cause a grown man to cry.
Before Mack could begin working on his testimony, he needed to get a grip on his fear. He needed to rethink what it means to give his testimony.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. . .” (KJV). Whatever the broken pieces of your past look like, God is working them into a beautiful story.
It’s not because you deserve it or earned it. But it’s His nature to create grace, mercy, redemption, and life. Sharing your testimony is your chance to brag on God.
And that’s the important thing. It’s not about you. It’s about Jesus.
For people in recovery, sharing our testimony is one of the final pieces of creating a new past in our lives. It’s our chance to reflect on all we’ve been through and connect the dots to show how it all led to our new lives today.
It can be an incredibly enriching, cathartic experience to paint a picture of the gospel message using our life as the brush strokes. We fell short of the glory of God, but we said “yes” to Jesus, and he’s done the rest.
Still need convincing that giving your testimony is worth it? Think about a really good sharing group you’ve been a part of. Think of a time when someone said something that suddenly illuminated something in your own life.
I will never forget those first few sharing groups I attended at Celebrate Recovery. It was uncomfortable, awkward, and intimidating. Then one night it happened. Someone sharedan experience she had and I thought, “Wow, I’m not the only one!” From that point on I knew I was in a group that would understand me when I chose to open up and share.
Joe Tarasuk, founder of CrossRoads Freedom Center, tells how when he first shared being sexually abused as a child and being dyslexic, it opened the door for nearly every other man in the group to voice similar experiences which they had never shared before.
Once you’ve made up your mind to give your testimony you’re not finished yet. You still have to write it.
Our next blog article will discuss how to prepare your testimony and how Mack handled it. Be sure to look for it next Monday, January 18th.