The thought of preparing your testimony to share with others can be pretty intimidating and downright scary. We all have stories to share about the goodness of God’s handiwork in our lives but we aren’t all great storytellers. So what are we supposed to do?
To Share Or Not To Share
After giving my life to Christ, I was one of those overly enthusiastic baby Christians that couldn’t contain my emotions. I read lots of accounts in the New Testament where God touched someone and told them to go share what happened. So I did.
I would share my story with anyone that would listen. I didn’t plan it or pray about it, I just threw it out there. As you can imagine, that didn’t always work out so well.
Even to this day I always hear about all these amazingly positive experiences when someone shares their testimony. In fact, I don’t think I have ever heard it told any other way. But that sure wasn’t my experience!
See, it never dawned on me that my story might not be received with open arms. Sometimes I would get blank polite nods but other times I faced rejection and condemnation. I even had a few friendships that dissolved after hearing my story.
Because I was a new Christian, I had not given God the chance to renew my heart and mind yet. Then when I faced this rejection, I didn’t handle it in a godly manner at all.
To my fragile baby Christan heart, it was just too painful to continue sharing. Instead of turning to God for help I shut down and pulled away from my brothers and sisters in Christ. I stopped putting myself out there and built walls to keep others away. If pushed, I would deflect or just share the slightly tainted parts of my story but never again the full, unvarnished truth.
The walls I built up became taller and more fortified with each passing season because Satan was gleefully using my fears (my walls) as chains of bondage that grew tighter every time I refused to open up and share.
Then one day at our new church I was invited to hear a new friend give her testimony. Her story was remarkably beautiful with its many highs and lows. Her truth and vulnerability were on display for all to see and it didn’t seem to bother her that she was so exposed! The Holy Spirit allowed me to see how Laurie’s testimony affected the other ladies listening and I was fascinated!
From that day forward, the Holy Spirit began to gently convict my heart for years of rebellion in this area.
Sounds pretty spiritual, doesn’t it? And I’m sure you think I immediately obeyed. But I didn’t. I still didn’t want any part of sharing my testimony. Putting myself out there was such a complete about-face from what I had grown used to that I was sure it was Satan trying to use my past to bring fresh discouragement and shame. So I ignored, rebuked, and faithfully stood my ground.
I continued to resist and God continued to persist.
Back and forth thoughts swirled in my head…
He had done so much for me over the years, should I share how God has blessed me? Hearing about the day-to-day walk from Christians I admire always encouraged and inspired me; what if there was someone out there who desperately needed to hear my story so they wouldn’t feel so alone and rejected?
Was it possible the prior issues I faced when sharing my testimony weren’t what I shared but how I went about it? But what if it really was me and my story? What if sharing again brought more rejection from my Christian community?
Over the last 28 years, not a single church we had been a part of had a class or even a how-to worksheet on how to prepare and share your testimony. All these years later I still didn’t know where to start or what to say. What made me think I would handle it any differently now?
God didn’t relent. He continued to speak his truths to me:
- My past was my prison unless it was used to share the truth of what He had brought me through.
- The Bible is full of testimonies of imperfect sinners, some with pasts more dramatic than others and some who were “good people”. Both equally needed God in their life. Obviously, we need to hear about both or God wouldn’t have put them in His Bible.
- I can’t be all-in and serve God while trying to hide from my past. Satan would use it to torment me if I didn’t finally forgive myself and allow God to use my mistakes to bless others.
- Contrary to what Satan wanted me to think, I couldn’t be the only born-again Christian who was clueless in knowing how to pull from the mess of my past to create a beautiful, godly testimony.
Maybe, just maybe, the Holy Spirit planned to use this whole struggle as part of my testimony that would, in turn, bless someone else.
I began to ask God to take down my walls. During prayer, I would get the thought to “start at the beginning”. Not knowing what God meant, I decided to study testimonies in the Bible as well as modern-day testimonies. But I also carefully looked back at what I shared and how I shared it in the early days.
The following is what I learned through this journey. If you have been struggling with sharing your testimony because you weren’t sure how to prepare one, I pray God will use this information to light a fire in your soul to begin preparing your story to share with others.
What Is A Testimony?
A testimony is what you saw or know, often given in a court of law.
A Christian testimony is a bit different. It is the story of where you were and what God did in your life. Your testimony is a mighty spiritual weapon that reminds you and the enemy of God’s love and promises fulfilled.
“We overcome our enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.” (Revelation 12:11)
You might also hear a Christian testimony called a biblical testimony or a testimony of faith.
Is Your Christian Testimony Just Your Salvation Story?
Nope! Your story doesn’t begin and end with giving your life to Christ. Your testimony could be anything. It could refer to:
- An account of your salvation from spiritual death to life
- How Christ has worked to change you in a particular area (say an addiction or freedom from a life of fear or anxiety)
- How Christ brought you through a difficult situation (such as job layoff, death of a loved one)
God never stops working in the lives of his children so we will always have new testimonies to share.
Why should you share your testimony?
There isn’t just one reason to share but the primary purpose of telling someone what God has done in your life is to bring him glory.
Aside from that, hearing how God is working in someone’s life encourages the listener and ignites a spark of faith that God can grow into a flame.
The Holy Spirit can also use your personal testimony to draw an unbeliever to Him. Coming to know Christ Jesus and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives will always change us because God never leaves us the way he finds us.
Unbelievers see that change in us and wonder what happened. This allows us the perfect opportunity to share our faith by sharing our testimony.
Hang On A Minute
Before we get into how to prepare your testimony, take a minute and think on this: whether you have been walking with Christ for a while or are new to God’s family, consider putting your experiences (your various testimonies) into a fresh new notebook.
Wouldn’t that be an amazing testimony that you could pass down to your family one day? This visual reminder of God’s faithfulness will be a priceless treasure that will influence future generations long after you’ve left this earth!
We will not hide these truths from our children but will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord. We will tell of his power and the mighty miracles he did.
For he issued his decree to Jacob; he gave his law to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them — even the children not yet born — that they, in turn, might teach their children.
So each generation can set its hope anew on God, remembering his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. (Psalm 78:4-7)
How To Pull Together & Prepare Your Testimony
Prepare and Pray
I believe this is an area where I messed up when I tried to share my testimony in the past. I didn’t take much time to prepare and even less time to pray.
So before you grab that pencil to record your testimony, take time to ask Holy Spirit to help you get your thoughts together and to share what He would have you share. Allow God to guide your words.
Write It Down
Even if you choose not to write it down to pass on to future generations, you should still consider jotting down your story. This helps you get your thoughts together in an organized manner and to review it to make sure your focus stays on Christ Jesus. You don’t have to write it down word-for-word but even putting it in outline form might help you.
Think about Your Before, During & After
Think about a time in your life that God made a difference in both you and your situation. We’ll call this your highlighted moment (basically this refers to your issue or your problem area that God stepped in and transformed in some way). Think about what your life was like during this time. What were your struggles and mindset? What was going on in your life at that particular time? Why did you need God to intervene and create a miracle for you?
Now record what your life was like during this struggle. Is there a story or two you can briefly share that would illustrate what you were dealing with? What influenced your decision to let go and trust God?
Next focus on what God did about your highlighted moment. How did He change your situation? Share how God has worked in your life since. People need to know that God is still working in your life and didn’t walk away from you after your highlighted moment.
Some Things To Consider
Which Highlighted Moment Should You Share?
Are you still wondering what you should share? The truth is that is totally up to you. As you pray, you might begin to feel like you are supposed to share a particular incident over another. Trust that this is the Holy Spirit speaking to you and go with it. Trust that if it is not, He will make it clear.
Share Your Highlights, Not Your Details
Focus on the highlights, not the nitty-gritty details that will take the listener down a confusing bunny trail. A particular testimony could take days, months, or years to build but nobody wants to hang around that long to hear about it.
Keep your story short, sweet, and honest. Don’t exaggerate because you think your story isn’t remarkable enough. Don’t diminish or sugarcoat because you think nobody will believe you. Be authentic and genuine.
Don’t Share What You Are Currently Going Through
This is another area where I messed up in the past. I had not given myself time to heal. I couldn’t relay my story with clarity and objectivity because my negative emotions were clearly what was leading me (not God) and scaring others off.
But aside from that, you need to use wisdom. When you are currently going through something, you need to hear God’s voice about your situation, not the opinion of everyone else who hears your story. Satan can (and will) use this to his advantage.
Your story is uniquely yours. This event in your life was important enough for God to take notice and rescue you from. That makes it important enough to share with others.
It doesn’t matter if it is a big adventure full of drama or an everyday-type of situation, every story will speak to somebody. I had a hard time accepting this. I thought if my story wasn’t “the worst of the worst” then it wasn’t worth sharing. But that isn’t true.
Also, don’t be intimidated by what you think of as someone else’s awesome life. You might not realize it but someone might feel the same about yours.
It’s Not Just About You And Your Struggle
Keep in mind that your testimony is God’s story as much as it is yours. Don’t focus solely on yourself and the pain or difficulty you went through. We all struggle but thanks to God there is more to the story than your pain. Be sure to give God glory by telling what God did for and through you.
Preparing your personal testimony isn’t as difficult as you might think. Embrace your life; it might be full of ups and downs and lots of in-betweens but somewhere in there is a story God wants you to share!