Don’t ever say this.
He’s got a crazy testimony. He was doing meth and punching babies and racing cops and kicking animals but then he hid in a church from the Feds and a monk popped up from the floor and — I just grew up in church and got saved.
Yes, you got saved.
You were brought from death to life.
It’s not a competition.
I am equally moved by the testimony of a man who was saved out of a criminal record just as much as the guy who went to church every weekend with his parents. Jesus is just as thrilled.
Atheist-Muslim-Hindu-Buddhist-Wiccan-pagan, homosexuals, sex addicts, drug addicts, alcoholics, people-pleasers, sexually abused, the angry, fearful, timid, voiceless, the churched — we were all headed for certain death and destruction.
And then Jesus happened.
Every word you spoke was
to pretend you were someone you were not,
full of agenda and veneer,
every word to protect yourself,
at the cost of others,
self-orbiting, self-centered, self-absorbed, self-serving,
justifying, rationalizing, making excuses,
without destiny or a destination,
building on collapsible foundations,
a dollar amount or trophies in the case or body image or recovery group or religious attendance,
and inside pieces slowly died,
because you were already dead.
You were set free.
You could serve without motives.
With joy, with patience, no recognition.
You got all the approval you needed.
You laid down weapons of manipulation and dominance.
Your voice stopped terrorizing.
You became qualified, accepted, affirmed, confirmed.
You were broken out of yourself.
Other people became more important.
You could love without expectation.
Idols were assassinated and fired.
You could lead, inspire, create life, confess, be a breath of fresh air.
You became real.
But none of this from you,
but because you were made alive
Can we help but sing about this?
Can you believe: that no matter where you’ve been, even if you feel like it was nowhere, that you are now friends with the Most High?
A good testimony is simply: Before Jesus, after Jesus. That’s the Good News.
It’s good news for everyone.