It was such an amazing transformation. Incredible. Nothing short of miraculous.
No one could believe it.
The man tried to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But they didn’t want to hear it. They kept questioning him, questioning his neighbors and friends, his parents, everyone they could find. His story didn’t change.
He wanted to be honest. He wanted to be helpful. He was trying to cooperate. But for the life of him, he couldn’t figure out what they wanted him to say! He’d innocently stumbled into a highly charged theological debate, a political power play, a plot.
He tried again, to put his story — his experience — in the simplest possible terms. In doing so, he distilled the Gospel into a single sentence:
“One thing I know: I was blind but now I see!” (John 9:25)
He modeled for us one of the most powerful ways we can be a witness, one of the most profound ways we can share our faith in Christ: By relating our own experience — our own personal story — our “before” and “after.”
This is what the Woman at the Well did. It’s how she led her whole village to Jesus. “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did….” (See John 4) Jesus told another man He had healed, “Go home …. tell your friends and family what the Lord has done for you.” (Mark 5:19)
Sharing our testimony can really be that simple, that straightforward:
My life before Jesus; my life after Jesus.
(Even those of us who have grown up in the faith — we can share how knowing Jesus has brought us peace or courage or freedom.)
Remember, we’re not telling anyone that we’re perfect or that we have it all together now. We don’t have to be in “a really good place” to be a good witness. The truth is that every one of us is a work in progress. Growing daily in His grace.
I love how openly and honestly U2’s Bono shares about his (Christian) journey:
“I have heard of people having life-changing, miraculous turn-arounds, people set free from addiction after a single prayer, relationships saved when both parties ‘let go, and let God’. But it was not like that for me. For all that ‘I was lost, I am found’, it is probably more accurate to say, ‘I was really lost, I’m a little less so at the moment’. And then a little less and a little less again. That to me is the spiritual life. The slow reworking and rebooting of a computer at regular intervals, reading the small print of the service manual. It has slowly rebuilt me in a better image. It has taken years though, and it is not over yet.”
We have this assurance from Philippians 1:6: “He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.”
Wherever we are in the process, we know better than anyone how different we are — how different we’ve become, how different our lives have been — since we met Jesus.
And we can share with others that it’s because of Him.
He has made all the difference.
This Week’s Bible Study Assignment:
If you are participating in Summer in the Son — Virtual VBS For GrownUp Girls:
Read John Chs 8-9.
Memorize John 8:31-32.
Today’s Question: What’s your story — your “before” and “after”? Try telling it in a single, simple sentence: I once was _____________ but now I’m _____________. If you like, you can post it in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!