Whenever I tell my testimony, I always feel a little bad. Here is my story: I grew up in a strong Christian home. I felt God drawing me to salvation at age seven. God saved me. I was baptized. The end.
Some would say I'm a teeny bit on the dramatic side. I like a good story. So sometimes, I try to spice up this story with glamorous hand gestures and theatrical pauses. I try to get as much drama into my three-sentence testimony as humanly possible. But it's still just a boring story with a boring beginning middle and end.
I've heard "every testimony matters," "I wish I had a story like yours," but I've often wondered if my story was missing something. If I should have had a time in my life where I doubted God, grossly rebelled against the Bible, threw a spiritual tantrum against the church, but I didn't really. Of course I've dealt with struggles, made some stupid decisions, been selfish in relationships, and have disobeyed God plenty of times, but -- nothing that makes that good of a story.
Truthfully, when someone asks how I came to Christ, I usually spit out my story and then tell David's, like "I'm sorry you had to just listen to my boring story -- but David's got the story you really want to hear, so let me tell his." That usually gets a reaction. I live vicariously through my husbands salvation experience -- I'm that much of a story-glutton.
Then recently I was listening to a sermon (okay it was a sermon by my husband. It's the worst when your husbands sermons convict you.). David spoke of the blood of Christ not only paying for our sin, but also paying for our goodness. In other words, in the eyes of Christ, our sin and our own attempts at righteousness are the same thing. We are born into sin, destined for hell. Every good work we do is actually evil because it springs from sin. Being a "good person" and being a horrible person have the exact same result outside of Christ because "there is no one righteous, not even one."
I saw with fresh eyes what exactly i had been saved from. God saved me from being The Good Girl.
God saved me from my sin, but he also saved me from my own miserable attempts at goodness, saved me from my own self-righteousness. Instead of good, I got to be The Saved Girl. God saved my soul, gave me a new life in Him, a new heart and rescued me from my own selfishness and ultimately from hell.
Now when you're in middle school, The Good Girl and The Saved Girl look a lot alike. I should know. But time reveals the heart. One will last, one will fade. One will persevere through every storm, the other will crumble. One has been changed from the inside, the other keeps up a nice image until that isn't rewarding anymore, which it never is without an all-consuming Savior. One has the goodness of her savior imprinted on her heart, the other manufactures a kind of worldly goodness that dissipates during trial.
My Jesus saved me from being The Good Girl from a Christian home, nice to everyone, making good grades, staying a virgin, and who ultimately goes straight to hell because she has not been rescued by Jesus. He saved me from being a shiny, squeaky-clean girl on the outside who is hollow and empty on the inside. There is no such thing as The Good Girl outside of Jesus, just a cheap, straight-A disguise that will certainly burn away.
I praise God for my story and I pray it for my children. I praise God that He didn't just scrub my outside, but that he overtook my life. He didn't let me go despite my struggles. My story is anything but boring because my God is anything but boring.
If you have a testimony like mine, if you were The Good Girl because He saved you at an early age, praise God. Never think that you manufactured your own goodness, or that God is somehow pleased with you for what a good person you are. God is please with his Son Jesus. He was pleased to crush his son so we could have salvation. He is pleased with you because you are in Him.
The next time you're around a Good Girl, don't be deceived. I sat next to many Good Girls through my childhood and teenage years that said all the right things, yet were far from God. Encourage the Good Girls in your life to love Jesus and to base their goodness on the cross. Encourage them to dig deeper, past a well-behaved exterior, to salvation. Praise the work of Christ more than the works of The Good Girls.
If you have a testimony like mine, tell it with joy as I am learning to do. Your God saved you from your own pointless goodness and gave you the holiness of Christ instead. What God has started in me at age seven, he will finish. I guess that's a pretty good story after all.