I have two amazing parents who love me very much. I love my wife and I’m positive she loves me back. I have a job, a house, two cats and a relative amount of security when it comes to keeping those things.
When it comes to church, I’m a lifer. I’ve been attending some form of church since I was a babe. I’ve never been addicted to drugs, alcohol or pornography. I’ve always been a pretty nice, decent person.
When it came time to get baptized, I knew it was something that I needed to do in order to avoid being cast into hell upon my death. My life didn’t radically change from before my baptism. I didn’t become more serious about church or anything like that. I just knew that I had the security of going to paradise rather than suffering for eternity.
And, basically, that’s my testimony.
Unfortunately, I used to not tell it that way. I would attend youth rallies and hear amazing stories of redemption and repentance. Drug dealers coming to know the Lord. Sex addicts being freed from their bondage and finding true, meaningful relationships in Christ. Gang members coming to find family and community outside of their typical paradigm. All of them incredibly dramatic, beautiful pictures of the power of God.
And then there was me. A privileged, boring, Christian kid. When it came time for me to share my story, I would either pass or feel compelled to exaggerate my depravity, telling stories of alcohol abuse and broken relationships due to my lies.
I didn’t know how to have peace or joy in the simple beauty of my story. Because I didn’t know how much bigger the story is than what happens after I, Todd Ramsey, die.
Today, while I still hesitate to offer up my testimony as a compelling evangelistic tool, I am more comfortable with my story. I’ve come to realize that the beauty of my story rests not in radical transformation of my sin-filled life, but in the reality that I have been invited into something far bigger, far more beautiful and far more significant than I could possibly have imagined. Rather than simply living out the rest of my days in peace and comfort, the creator of the universe has opened up the kingdom to me. I have a stake, a role in bringing about God’s will to this earth. And God can use my loving parents and wife. He can use my church-saturated upbringing. He can leverage my decency. I don’t have to come from a life of depravity to “carry my weight” in this kingdom life.
While that may not be a testimony that is going to move people to tears or conversion, it is a testimony that I can share without shame or envy.
Did you ever feel the same way? Did your testimony seem too small for God to use?