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Entries in Tim Keller (1)

Thursday
Apr112013

The testimony is not about me

A number of years ago, I took my daughter, who was about 11 at the time, to a ladies' meeting where daughters were invited to attend.  There was a woman giving her testimony at the end of the program. The woman was a beautiful singer, and my daughter admired her. 

The woman began to share her testimony, and as the details flowed, so did the emotion.  As she related stories about her drug addiction, right down to naming the names of what she abused and how she abused it, the tears were falling, mostly hers.  At times, she could barely speak.  My daughter sat, transfixed.  On the way home with me that night, in addition to knowing a whole host of street names for drugs, she said to me, "I have such a boring testimony." 

I had two thoughts at that moment.  First, I knew there was something wrong with that kind of testimony. And second, I wondered what the younger girls in the room thought of that testimony.

Tim Keller said something really good about testimonies in his book Galatians for You.  I put it in the "Quotables" section of my notebook:

If we emphasize dramatic, gory, or sexual details, we may only be sending the message Look at what an amazing case I am!  Paul gets personal only to make the gospel clear.  We are not sharing our story for ourselves, but to help others find Christ; to point others to the amazing gospel of grace which has changed our lives, and which we know will change theirs, too. (p. 35)

To which I add a hearty "Yep!"