Everybody Loves a Good Story

Everybody Loves a Good Story

Everybody Loves a Good Story

I have fond childhood memories of testimony time at our weekly church services. The same people testified every week and said the same thing every time—even the kids. I had my testimony memorized so I wouldn’t forget anything. I still remember it. While comparing notes with a co-worker in my building the other day, I learned that her childhood testimony sounded pretty much like mine! The testimony tradition continued in my experience at a Nazarene college. Thankfully, my college testimony developed a bit from my childhood one. I’ll never forget the times (they occurred more than once!) our classmates confessed their undying love for a girlfriend during the testimony time. Our pastor always found a way to cut those testimonies short! Great memories.

            I always found it easy to share my testimony within the comfort of like-minded believers. But what about at school, work, or in family gatherings where Christ’s name is seldom mentioned, except perhaps in vain? It’s not always as easy to witness for Christ in those settings.

            Many believers love the Lord deeply but feel inadequate to accurately proclaim everything our friends and family members need to hear about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let’s step back and examine the nature of a meaningful testimony. Some are surprised to learn that, in simplest terms, our testimony is our story. We just share with others our story about the Lord’s work in our lives.

            Everyone loves a good story. We frequently hear stories in my part of the country on the evening news, night after night, as witnesses describe the way a tornado sounded as it tore through their neighborhood. We’ve heard the details and descriptions dozens of times before. Yet we remain fascinated as we hear this familiar story again. Believe it or not, people are also intrigued by stories of God’s transforming work in believers’ lives. They are drawn to our personal accounts of God’s incredible intervention. They listen carefully as they hear about the hope, victory, and peace God brings us. They stop and ponder if God might be able to do something like that for them; they certainly wish He could. What’s more, the Holy Spirit plays our words over and over in their heads in the quiet of the night long after our conversation with them.

            We have the privilege of telling our friends and family members, “Yes, God can do the same thing for you that He has done for me.” I believe the direction Jesus gave the man He healed in Mark 5:1-20 applies to us as well. He said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you” (19). The Lord has forgiven us of our sins; He has made us new creatures in Christ; He blesses us with His presence; He is transforming us daily by the power of His Holy Spirit. Boldly tell those around you how much the Lord has done for you because everybody loves a good story!

Frank Moore is editor in chief of Holiness Today

May/June 2021