I have no problems with testimonies. In fact, I encourage as many to share their victories and breakthroughs that God may be exalted and glorified. That said, there is a flip side to these glory stories. As much as they bring hope, the opposite can also happen. For someone going through a tough moment, who has been holding on for the longest time, another such account could well be the proverbial “straw that breaks the camel’s back”. Quite possibly, doubt can enter and condemnation take over … why only them? why not me? have I sinned? did I not exercise faith? is my faith not strong enough? good enough?
That’s one of the reasons I set up this blog – so that I can be real and share testimonies that are balanced. By that, I refer to testimonies that have positive outcomes (answered prayers, healings, provisions, blessings, etc) as well as those that appear negative (struggles, frustrations, failures, challenges, moments of aloneness, etc) but are actually positive when viewed with the right biblical perspective (hope in God, joy in His presence, resting in His sovereignty, etc).
My opinion is that we have too many of the former and too few of the latter. As a result, sometimes, we Christians don’t appear real at all. For example, you may feel like screaming or crying but you hold back because it is not considered Christian. After all, aren’t Christians supposed to be meek, gentle and always in control? Oh please, let’s get real!
In sharing my journey as a minister, a husband and a parent, I want to be as real as I possibly can be. I’m no super-spiritual saint – God knows! – my wife and children know that too 🙂 I am just a regular guy. I want to identify with the struggles of others and for them to identify with mine too. I believe that in these, provided I strive to live in accordance to His Word and principles, God is also exalted and glorified! And have I achieved this? I think so – judging from the following two email statements*:
“Glad to have read your blog and finally saw that what we’ve experienced isn’t unique, that God didn’t play a cruel joke on us, but even yourself & Serene have struggles too.”
“Until recently, I had the impression all godly people and their family were blessed and spared of this, and how much of a sinner I am, ever deserving of punishment and worthy of endless toil. Your personal journey and testimony has proved me wrong, maybe the word “bless” needs a change in definition for me.”
In all I do or say, I want to bring encouragement to people, not condemnation. I don’t want anyone to think that I am above anyone, or they beneath me, spiritually or otherwise. We are all on the same spiritual journey, with similar challenges and struggles. If not for the grace of God in our lives, where would we be? May we continue to spur one another on by being real in every way.
* The writer decided to email me only after reading “F.F.F.F.“, “All in a Day’s Work” and “Whatever You Do“. I am sure he doesn’t mind me quoting him that more can be encouraged and set free to be real for Jesus Christ.