It’s easy to let people think we’re perfect…
Isn’t it? As Christians, others expect certain standards. Whether images of perfect in the Christian community itself or something the world expects to see in us, we try to maintain this image of perfect.
The worst thing you can do for your testimony is to pretend that being saved somehow makes you perfect now. When others feel like you are better than them, or even you think you are better than them, the chance to share the gospel dissipates. When Jesus forgave others, He did not call them perfect, He called them whole.
Share your testimony…
Revelation says we are made overcomers by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). I know a lot of people struggle with this, thinking to talk about the past gives glory to the enemy. But the truth is this: when Jesus delivered you from whatever life you lived, that’s a point for Jesus, not Satan. When you share your story you give others hope. Telling them that while yes, they live a life that is not pleasing to God and only ends in their misery, but that Jesus changed all that over 2,000 years ago gives them hope.
Think back to before Jesus saved you. Did someone’s testimony inspire you? Even now, being saved, how much does it help you when someone talks about a battle they faced recently? Our testimony is meant to share with others. Not so we can be glorified, but so He receives ALL the glory.
When we share our past with others, they see Jesus mends the broken. He provides strength to the weary. And He gives hope to those who feel hopeless. What we are not telling people is the Christian life means perfect, what we do tell them is we have a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). While this life never means perfect, the promise of a new one is. THAT’S what we brag about. His glory. Not ours.
But don’t act like that makes you better.
I feel like my Dad has an amazing testimony. As he tells it, God had to reach way down to get to him. His fair share of drug use and alcohol, he doesn’t miss the chance to tell people what God did for him. People who knew him back in the day cannot believe that he attends church, let alone holds any position or teaches anyone anything. But he’s not proud of it. He doesn’t find his testimony all that impressive. To him, he spent too many years living a life unpleasing to God and wishes he could change all that.
So when someone talks to him about their bad habits or tells them they’re too much for Jesus, he can tell them from experience that’s not the case. He may look all cleaned up on the outside. He can discuss the bible with the rest of them. But he knows where he came from, and he knows the last thing he is – is better than someone else. Better than someone who walks in the very shoes he put down.
When the apostles talk about the life of a Christian, they do not talk about their own perfection. You never read where Peter claims to be perfect. They, Jesus himself, did not reserve their time for those who seemed worthy on the outside. Jesus is better than any human can possibly even conceive, and yet He spent time with those deemed the lowest of society. Paul called himself chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
Jesus’ blood made us whole, not perfect.
Nothing about you makes you perfect.
Don’t worry, I said that to myself as well.
Nothing about the perfect sacrifice of Jesus made this flesh perfect. Nothing about a recited prayer made me any better. I do nothing, can do nothing, to perfect this flesh. Even being saved, sins gone, washed away in the blood of Jesus, cannot make me perfect.
The good news is He is perfect. And while I never will be, He did make me whole. So this broken person, this stubborn, arrogant woman with a sinful nature can be made whole again. I tell others what Jesus did for me because He went above and beyond in my case. And while nothing about me, or my life, is anything near perfect, I am made whole. I now walk knowing I am loved, no matter the circumstances.
I tell others that the emptiness you feel gets filled when Jesus enters your life. Only because of Him. Through Him.
None of us are perfect.
But the good news is this: we don’t have to be. We just have to stop letting others think we are. No longer pretend something we did makes us any better than anyone else. The Bible plainly tells us that we all sin and come short of His glory (Romans 3:23) and Isaiah 64:6 is pretty clear on what God thinks of our own righteousness.
So lay aside the facade of the perfect life. Put aside preconceived notions about someone else’s past. Quit acting like something you did places you above someone else.
Instead, share how far you’ve come. Talk about what Jesus did for you. If nothing else, He saved your soul. Being raised in church doesn’t make you a better Christian, it makes Him a bigger God. When you break down those walls, you open the doors for others to see the light of Jesus shine in you.
We witness to others effectively when they know we stopped being the perfect Christian.
Everything about being a Christian points to the fact that Jesus is the be all, end all answer to this world. To my problems, frustrations, sins. He paid the price so I could live free. Nothing about that makes me better than anyone else. However, He positioned me to talk to broken women like myself. To tell you that you might not be perfect and that’s okay. Share the fact that He doesn’t want the perfect, that He actually uses those who are willing.
I’m certainly not perfect, but Lord, I’m willing.