Testimonies are cool. It’s kind of unfair to have to “compete” in the testimony realm with Paul, if you will; Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini all converted and added together would have a hard time competing with Paul.
I wonder, however, how dramatic Timothy’s testimony would be. Not very, I suppose. Like mine: … Not dramatic. Do testimonies need to be dramatic? I hate to bore people.
I started to reply as a comment and thought better of it.
James, I wish I had your testimony! Tell me which is greater to be saved OUT of a life of wretched sin – (me) or to be saved FROM a life of wretched sin (you?)
Trust me, the awakened hunger of the flesh is harder to combat than the desires which fitfully slumber. God has granted to you the most beautiful of all gifts; a lifelong testimony of faithfulness. I did not say perfection (Proverbs 24:16 For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again…) I said faithfulness! Do not despise that gift of the Lord. Praise His Holiness for granting you freedom from a painful past.
Do testimonies need to be dramatic? Heavens no. On the contrary maybe it’s our hunger for the dramatic that points to a deeper flaw. “It is a wicked generation that seeks for a sign…”
While we can claim that what we love about a dramatic testimony is the power of God, what I believe we love about a dramatic testimony is in some measure the titillation by proxy we receive as we relive an-other’s sins as they recite them. Or maybe I’m being too harsh. More than likely I’m just revealing my own sinful bent.
My own testimony is thus: “God pulled me out of the cesspool.” How much I would prefer it to be, “God kept me out of the cesspool!”
However as you stated, God still taught you through your parents of your own unworthiness; and that despite not taking on so called gross sins. In reality our depravity is enough to condemn us all. Our very nature is corrupt and fallen so that there is no one righteous. So what if I was a blasphemer and you “merely” lied to your mother about the cookie jar. Your sin is as wretched and deserving of condemnation as mine. In fact in our hearts we were for a time completely identical. Both of us living on our own apart from grace declaring if not by words, at least by action that we were a god unto ourselves. But God in his infinite mercy called to us James. He introduced us to Jesus His Son and granted us faith to believe. He saved us not because of things that we had done, but according to his mercy (Titus 3:5).
What a mighty God, and what a marvelous testimony we share brother James: Saved By Grace!
1 Timothy 1:14-16 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
What an awesome God we serve!