Here at SSU, we’ve started out the year with a theme of various members of the community sharing their stories/testimonies in chapel. I was asked to share, and I did so this past Thursday.
For starters, I had mostly forgotten that I was going to do so. It’s not like I had to prepare what I was going to say: it’s my life and I know where I’ve come from. I’ve also had the opportunity to share this story many times because God has given me a good story that should be told. And no, I won’t be telling it now.
When I tell my story, it’s raw. It’s also quite dramatic, because that’s the way God did things with me. For all you people who feel inferior because you’ve had a comparably “boring” life story: be thankful. Dramatic is not fun to live. But I digress.
What’s the point of me saying all of this? Well, for starters, the story of my coming to faith has a definite moment of coming to faith. It makes for a natural ending to the story, but that’s deceptive because it’s also just a beginning. This is especially more true as more and more time-over six years now-passes from the moment I started to follow Jesus.
The next day, a friend thanked me for sharing my story and asked if I still tell my story the same way that I used to. I said no, definitely not. As I thought about why, I thought about how much has changed in my understanding of faith, salvation and what it means to be a Christian.
Before, I would have told my story in a way that made my “moment of salvation” the entire focus and climax of the story, reflecting a gospel of sin management that ignores the rest of life. This salvationism is what is preached by many good and sincere evangelical Christians who fail to see that this gospel has nothing to say about the rest of life. It’s what I was indoctrinated into.
Now, however, I definitely tell my story differently. I no longer divide my life in pre-saved and post-saved. I’m still working out my salvation and will be until the day that I die. I still ended my story with the moment that I decided to follow Christ, but I did so in a way that said that this was a dramatic event that served as a transition from one chapter of my life to the next.
Salvation is about the past, present and future. I need saving for today and tomorrow just as much as I did for yesterday. I am presented with the choice of whether or not to follow Jesus on this journey on a daily basis. I will say yes, with his help.