I remember when my family was thinking about placing membership at a church we had been attending for quite some time. We sat through a class that explained what the church was all about, specifically what they believed, etc. We had to fill out some paperwork, and in that paperwork was a space to write one’s testimony of faith. What’s that? Well, we were supposed to explain the moment we had decided to follow Christ, and they wanted it turned in before we left the class.
Are you kidding me? I not only had no idea of the moment I started following Christ, but as a former English teacher, I was not prepared to turn in a first draft essay! Therefore, we decided to take the paperwork home with us. I never did fill out the testimonial. I was stumped. Then we moved, so it really didn’t matter that we had never pledged membership to that church that we so loved. By the way, we still visit that church sometimes when we are in the area.
Years later, thinking on this testimonial thing, I finally know what to write, and I’d like to share it. It all started in the seventh grade. I was thirteen-years-old, sitting on my bed with my friend Mona. We were probably chatting about school, or records, or most likely boys when the conversation took a turn.
“Are you a Christian?” she asked me.
“Yeah, of course.”
“How do you know?”
“What do you mean? We go to church every Sunday. I believe in God.”
“But have you been baptized?”
“No. Not yet.”
I hadn’t, although I knew that I would someday. That was never in question, but I was thirteen-years-old, and it had not even been on my radar. I was too busy thinking about thirteen-year-old girl stuff, I guess.
In Mona’s tell-it-like-it-is, seventh-grade logic, she said, “Well, you can’t be a Christian if you’re not baptized. And if you aren’t a Christian when you die, you go to hell.”
Ouch! That got my attention! I mean, no one wants to go to hell. Of course, I had already known all this, I just never applied it to my life because I was just coming into the age when I was old enough to choose, and I had chosen. I had always chosen to follow Jesus. I’d just neglected to obey Christ and make it official, which we are called to do. I probably didn’t appreciate my friend’s harsh words at the time. Being convicted to hell isn’t something anyone wants a part of. However, she spurred me into action.
I doubt Mona has any memory of this. We were just kids and just beginning to understand the Bible, but this was a moment that changed my life, and she was a huge part of it. It only takes a seed, and you never know how big that seed will grow unless you plant it. Thank you, Mona.
To be continued…