I Pray My Children Have a “Boring” Testimony

I Pray My Children Have a “Boring” Testimony
by Matt Giesman for The Aquila Report

I pray my children have a “boring” testimony, and I pray that they never call it boring.

First, let’s define the “boring” testimony, then let’s defend it. Definition first. A “boring” testimony usually seems to mean that you grew up in a Christian home and never knew a time in your life when you didn’t know Jesus as your Savior. Why is that “boring”? Well, if you grew up like me, with a dose of evangelical influence (at churches that scheduled their revivals) you were convinced that to be really and truly saved, you needed something dramatic. Maybe the drama was akin to John Wesley’s heart being “strangely warmed” as someone read the preface to Martin Luther’s commentary on Romans. Maybe it was a moment when you were convinced that they played one more verse of “Just As I Am,” just for you. Maybe your drama involved lots of drugs, alcohol, or some other kind of illicit activity (and maybe jail time, too) before God finally got His hooks into you. It’s easy to see how that feels more exciting than the “boring” story above. But it’s certainly not better, and I’m not even sure it’s boring.

I heard a story of a ministerial candidate who once gave his testimony like this:

God saved me from of a life of drugs, alcohol, and sexual promiscuity. He saved me from all that by calling me to Himself at a young age, so that I never knew a day when I didn’t know Jesus as my Savior.

What’s so boring about that? What so drab about God working through Christian parents, so that their words and their actions are trusted by their children, so that they embrace the same God that saved wretches like their parents? One of our elders has a testimony like this – Saved a week before my wedding at a Christmas Eve service. But he also likes to say that his story makes him grateful to hear the boring testimonies above. Indeed, I have a good friend who’s a fellow minister who was saved in a drug rehab program run by a Pentecostal church (a program he only attended to avoid jail time). He’s told me plenty of times before that (grateful as He is for God’s grace) he would love to erase the mistakes of his past.

So what do I want for my kids? As I tell parents before an infant baptism, if there was anything I could do to guarantee their salvation, I would do it, and I’m sure other parents would, too. But I can’t.

Above all, I want my kids to know Jesus, to live in a mansion a few golden streets away from mine in heaven. If they get there after a prodigal phase, I’ll be content. But I’d much rather see them never have to taste the bitterness of bad choices.

If that means someone thinks their testimonies are boring, I won’t give a rip. I’ll be glad for the best kind of testimony – the one that points to Jesus. Isn’t that what testifying is all about? Giving testimony about Jesus? Not my jail time, my stupid mistakes, my respectable sins of pride and arrogance, or something else that starts with my? Isn’t it supposed to be about Jesus?

So be grateful for your testimony, no matter what it’s like, as long as it points to Jesus. 2 Corinthians 7:10 reads, in part, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret.” No one ever regretted truly turning to Jesus. So don’t you regret it, either, especially if you’re tempted to call your testimony “boring.”

Matt Giesman is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is pastor of Forestgate PCA in Colorado Springs, Colo.  This article is used with permission.

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