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On the surface, my testimony seems kind of uninspiring. I grew up in a Christian home. I was saved when I was five. I never rebelled and wasn't a terribly difficult teenager. I met Jon, a nice Christian young man, when I was in high school. And I "got married and had babies in the proper order," as author Emily Freeman likes to say in her book Grace for the Good Girl.
My story doesn't have elements of an outwardly-dramatic change when I got saved. I wasn't a hardened criminal or severely depressed or living in deplorable sin before Christ rescued me. There wasn't a clearly-defined moment when the light suddenly went on about Christ's death and resurrection on the cross. And while I'm thankful that I didn't have to endure extreme situations before my salvation, it does mean that I sometimes feel as though my salvation story isn't anything special.
But it is.
And if your testimony is similar to mine, maybe you need to know why our stories still echo of a wild rescue that only God could orchestrate and that no man could ever fathom in a thousand lifetimes. Maybe you need to hear that your story is uniquely special and that God can use it mightily in another person's life.
When I was younger, I told my mom that I felt like my testimony lacked excitement. That it seemed kind of...boring. Unexciting. Dull.
My mom shared a story with me that I'd never heard before. The pastor of the church we attended at the time, along with another man from the church, went to the local prison to share their testimonies with the inmates. Our pastor had lived a rough life before he was saved, so his testimony was one of those amazing, dramatic stories of God rescuing someone from deplorable conditions. But one of the inmates was completely unmoved despite hearing how the Lord had miraculously rescued our pastor from his sinful life.
So, the man who had accompanied the pastor shared his testimony, too. "I don't have anything spectacular to tell you," the man said. "I grew up in a Christian home. I attended church with my parents every Sunday. And when I was little, I gave my life to Christ. I've tried to live a Godly life ever since."
At that, the prisoner asked how to be saved. "I've heard that God can save someone like me," he explained. "But I needed to believe in a God who could save someone from ever becoming like me in the first place."
I loved hearing that story as a child, because it opened my eyes to the fact that God really can use anything for His purposes. But even so, there's a bigger reason why no salvation story is ever mundane, flat, or boring: No matter how "good" you think you are or how "decent" the world views you, you are still a sinner on a direct line to hell whose only hope of rescue is Christ's shed blood on the cross.
If your salvation story seems uninspiring, it's because you have too grand a view of yourself and too small a view of God.
That might sting a little. It did when I realized that it was true of myself. I thought of my self-righteousness as somehow meriting me more favor with God than someone who had lived a very wayward life. Thus, my salvation seemed less amazing in my own eyes. Praise the Lord, though, that He doesn't base His salvation on our works but solely on His mercy.
When it comes to God's standard, I fall just as short as anyone else. And when I contemplate my fallenness in light of His perfectness, I begin to see just how much I needed to be saved. I begin to understand the absolute miracle that my salvation truly is.
And suddenly, my salvation story takes on a magnificence and brilliance I've never fully grasped before. I know yours can do the same.
Your turn: What is your salvation story like? Is it easy to see God's miraculous hand in your life? If you've not placed your trust in Christ's work on the cross, I'd invite you to learn more here.
Related: Kara shares her struggle with testimony envy.