Thursday, June 07, 2012

What's Your Story?


One of the things I used to teach my clients when I was in investment banking is that one of the best ways of promoting your business to a potential investor or client is to tell the story!   I used to have my clients practice their ‘elevator story’, which was a way of getting to the point of the story in the amount of time you would have to talk with someone on an elevator.   


Similarly, one of the best ways to reach a neighbor, friend or co-worker for Christ is your personal testimony. You personal testimony is a story; it is not theology but simply how your human condition was changed when you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior. 

We just need to tell the story.  We likely don’t have all the answers. Telling the story doesn’t mean you have perfect recall of theology.  Consider the women at the well who said, "I don’t know. Come and see. You tell me.. Is he the Christ?" (John 4:29)  Consider also the blind man who was miraculously touched by Jesus. The religious establishment who were the supposed experts in theology was grilling him.  The once-blind man just gave a simple response: "One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" (John 9:25, NIV).

If you note, while the Apostle Paul was extremely gifted in Hebrew and Greek and understood the wonderful theology that today has become our New Testament often he simply used his personal testimony when sharing the Gospel. You would think that this anointed and special Apostle,  a scholar who understood the scriptures would use logic and theology when sharing the gospel.  However, over and over again, before Roman governors and Jewish leaders, the Apostle Paul often would simply tell the story of how he came to know Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord.

Note that Paul always talked about his condition BEFORE, the impact of a crucified and risen Jesus Christ and his life AFTER.

Paul gives a simple summation of this process in 1 Timothy 1:12-15:

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him,13 even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief.  Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.  This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.  But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life."

What is your story?  Learn to be able to relate the sinner that you were, the condition that all men and women are in when they don’t know Christ.  The realization of the power of the Cross to forgive, redeem and restore and the impact that Jesus has had on your life.

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