YOUR STORY IS THE BEST APOLOGETIC
There is a place for telling people what you believe. It helps if there are good reasons for your beliefs. There is even a whole branch of study (called apologetics) designed to help you defend your beliefs. But, by far, the best way to pass on your beliefs to others is to share your story.
The (Formerly) Blind Man’s Story
My favorite miracle story in the gospels is found in John 9. Jesus healed a blind man on the sabbath. While everyone was arguing about why he was blind, whether it’s legal to heal on the sabbath, who is at fault and what constitutes sin, Jesus just heals the guy (in a very unconventional way).
When he is questioned by Jesus’ critics, he simply tells his story. “The man they call Jesus made some mud and anointed my eyes, and He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed and received my sight.” (v.11) When pressed, he simply repeats his story: “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.” (v. 15)
When they ask his opinion about the theology behind the healing, his reply is priceless. “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (v.25)
I have studied in four different seminaries. After teaching the Bible and preaching the gospel for almost thirty years, I am still most convinced by my own experience. My knowledge of God is personal. Jesus captured my heart as a thirteen year old lonely wanderer at a summer camp. He still has it because of the way he shows up in my life when I need him and the way he works through me by his Spirit in the lives of others. Though I love to tell the stories recorded in the Bible, my confidence comes from my own experience of his mercy, grace, power, and love.
What about you? What is your story? When people ask you about Jesus, what do you tell them? Until your life is personally being changed by Jesus, don’t bother trying to share him with others. You can’t give away something you don’t have. But when God is truly working in your life, sharing the stories comes naturally. No one can argue with a changed life.