therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God…[2 timothy 1:8]
in a courtroom, when a witness is called to the stand to give their testimony, what is it they are being asked to do? they are being asked to recount things they have seen take place – either actions they saw, to speak to the character of a person they know, or to give expert testimony about a field of study in which they are an authority. regardless, all of these things center around a person having knowledge of something or someone based on what they have witnessed. you are giving testimony about something or someone.
the story of sin in our lives is about our failings, pride, and selfishness. our stories of hurt are about the way the sin of others has impacted us. sin causes shame because when we tell the story of sin we believe that it makes us look bad – weak, less-than, or monstrous.
but the story of redemption is a story about Jesus. redemption is a story about the wonderful workings of a gracious God. a God who restores, heals, and forgives all of the sin, hurt, and brokenness in our life.
do you focus on the story of sin or the story of redemption?
it is difficult to tell the story of our sin – to give testimony about our brokenness. to face the shame we feel over these things. but as we learn to tell the story of redemption our sin just becomes a piece of that story…and now we’re in business. now we are giving testimony about the lord and how we have seen him heal, redeem, and fix our brokenness and sin. and, we have no reason to be ashamed of the work of the Lord!
pour over this passage (2 timothy 1:8-12) and write down everything it says God has done. all of the actions he has taken or all of the things he has accomplished.
telling the story of what God has done becomes easier and more joyful the more we do it. do it in song. do it in prayer. do it in conversations with believers. and do it in conversations with nonbelievers. overtime we learn to testify, not about sin, but about the work of the lord in redeeming us from that sin. and as we know more of who God is and what he has done (verse 12), we become even more excited to tell the story and less ashamed. and, we no longer need to hide because of sin. and the cycle continues to build on itself.
so spend time today in the presence of God, singing songs of remembrance. in prayer ask God to remind you of his work and retell the story of his redemption in your life.
then spend time today or this week intentionally telling others (believers and nonbelievers) this story of your testimony about the lord. and do not be ashamed.