In Churches of Christ we aren’t usually fond of personal testimonies. In a way that’s good, because testimonies all too easily put the emphasis on “Me, me, me, me!” instead of Jesus Christ. But personal testimonies have a place in the Kingdom. The apostles were not shy about sharing their stories, and Jesus instructed the man he saved from a demon to “Go to your home and tell your friends what great things the Lord has done for you, and how he’s had mercy on you” (Mk. 5:19).
I don’t think I ever had a demon, but the Lord still rescued me once I quit running from him. What changed my mind were a couple of student-led Bible studies at the college I attended as a young unbeliever. Every week Devon and Lucy invited me to their Tuesday night Bible study, and every week I caused trouble. I asked embarrassing questions, badgered the Christians to defend their most basic assertions, and generally made everyone uncomfortable. As an unbeliever I was listening to Satan, of course, and enjoyed disrupting things. But at the same time I was seeking the truth and daring Christians to prove that the answers are found in Jesus Christ. What finally broke my heart was not their factual answers, but the simple fact that they kept inviting me back every week. As much trouble as I was causing them, there was no way they would want me around unless they really believed what they proclaimed and didn’t want me to be in hell one day.
Praise God for how those people put Christ’s love into action. They’re living proof that Christians’ best testimony to the lost is not only what our words say, but what our lives proclaim.
(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley