You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it. I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors. But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to meso that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. ~Galatians 1:13-16
I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. ~2 Timothy 1:5-7
The Apostle Paul had a dramatic story to tell. He had an encounter with the risen Christ that completely turned his life around. He shared the story of his conversion with others to explain why he was so passionate about sharing the Good News—especially with the Gentiles. I imagine he also used the story to show how transformative the love of God could be. He had been changed from a passionate persecutor of the early church into a passionate apostle of Christ, and a preacher and teacher in that same church. What a powerful story Paul had! It needed to be shared.
Timothy, on the other hand, had a different kind of story. He was raised by two strong women of faith—women who were committed believers and followers of Christ. They had been sharing their faith with Timothy since he was a child. His story is less exciting than Paul’s, maybe even a little boring. Did Timothy have a story worth sharing? Could he also spread the Good News about Jesus with authority? Yes. Was Timothy unsure of himself and his qualifications to pastor the young churches? Possibly. Paul wrote letters encouraging Timothy to continue the work he was doing. He reminded Timothy of his faith heritage and its value in his ministry.
Did you ever wonder if your story is worth sharing? Could your story make a difference in someone else’s life?
I sometimes wonder about that myself. As a writer, I’m encouraged to share my story with others, but I often have doubts about whether my story matters. Like Timothy, I was raised in a family of faith. I don’t have a powerful conversion story, or a testimony filled with drama or trauma. Can my story make a difference? The answer is “yes.” I can use my life experiences, my faith background, my education—everything that makes me who I am—to tell the story of how God worked in my life in the past and is continuing to, work in my life today.
You can share your story too, because your story, no matter what it looks like, can help you to spread the Good News. God will equip you with what you need. So go share your story and, in doing so, share God’s story too.
Be blessed, my friends!