Have you ever been inspired to achieve something great after hearing someone’s personal story of success?
Think Bill Gates who dropped out of Harvard to create Microsoft.
Or perhaps you’ve been encouraged to hear of someone you see as successful but who admits to having failed in the past?
Think Michael Jordan who didn’t make the basketball team in high school.
There’s something special about a story. It has the power to move us, to inspire us, and to awaken the best in us.
And these are the exact things people struggling with addictions need. They need to be moved out of their situation into a better way of living. They need to be inspired that change is possible. And they need to be awakened to the fact that other human beings have dealt with addiction, just like them, but have overcome it and have moved on to lead successful lives.
This is the power of our testimonies. Sharing with others the freedom we found in Christ from our former lives of addiction creates hope in people who are dealing with those same struggles today.
That is what this Bible verse is encouraging us to do – to share our stories in order for other people to find hope.
“they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” – Revelation 12:11 (KJV)
In that scripture, “him” refers to the devil who Jesus said came to steal, kill, and destroy (see John 10:10).
But how does he steal? Does he break in during the night and run off with our televisions? Of course not. But he does lure us into addictions that steal our hope for better lives.
And how does he kill? Does he pull out a gun and shoot us? Well, no. But he does get us so tied up into addictions that our families fall apart and the joy we have for life dies inside of us.
And how does he destroy? Is it with a sledgehammer? Certainly not. But he uses addiction to extinguish God’s purpose for our lives, rendering us incapable of living out our potential in Christ.
Perhaps the most important question, therefore, is how do we overcome “him” – the one who uses addictions to steal, kill, and destroy our lives?
We overcome, as the Bible indicates, by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony.
Sharing our testimonies, therefore, has the opposite effect. Instead of stealing, killing, and destroying, telling our stories of hope and redemption give, revive, and rebuild. They give hope, revive dreams, and rebuild lives – all for the glory of Christ.
In fact, sharing our testimonies has these profound impacts on two people – the one who shares it and the one who hears it. It’s the win-win testimony. Both sides triumph.
Let’s take a closer look at both of these winners.
What Sharing Our Testimony Does for Us
Although we don’t share our testimony for the sole reason that it benefits us, we do in fact get blessed when we tell others what Christ did for us.
Here are the two main reasons how:
It Makes the Pain Worth It
What we went through was difficult. We suffered through a lot. Being able to use that pain for something positive gives us the satisfaction that it was worth it. It reminds us that all things work together for the good of them that love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
It Gives Us Purpose in Life
We all want our lives to count. Sharing our testimonies with people struggling through things we’ve overcome gives meaning to our lives. It helps us to know that we are truly making a difference.
What Sharing Our Testimony Does for Others
Sharing our testimonies is great for us, but it also blesses other people.
It Shows that Hope and Change Is Possible
One of the biggest struggles for an addict is that overwhelming sense of hopelessness – the feeling that the drug is just too strong and that change will never come. Hearing how God set someone (a real person struggling with the same addiction) free communicates that we do not have to stay addicted but that freedom is in fact possible.
It Inspires Them to Reach for Future Impact
The same way that sharing our testimony gives purpose to our lives, addicts also want their lives to count. Hearing us share our testimony makes them want to break free in order to share theirs as well. It’s a chain reaction. Our sense of purpose inspires others to reach forward to grab a hold of their purpose as well.
The bottom line is that sharing our testimonies is powerful. It’s how we overcome the one who tries to steal, kill, and destroy people through addiction. It puts the power back in our hands and lets us do the opposite – give, revive, and rebuild.
And the beauty of it all is that sharing this hope with others not only encourages them but also keeps God’s hope fresh in our own hearts as well.