How to Share a Testimony (Gal 1:13-17)
How do we testify about ourselves and yet point others to Christ? When we talk about ourselves, we tend to talk about our qualifications, accomplishments, and all things positive, leaving out the negatives. For the Apostle Paul, when he was a prisoner and stood before the governors, he talked about Christ and urged them to come to Jesus. When we share our testimony, we must consider the context, and be very selective about what we share. The experiences we share must be real (not something made up), and our testimony must always be the truth.
In testifying, we must always confess our sinful past. In Galatians 1:13-14, Paul did not keep his past a secret. He was an infamous persecutor of Christians. His “conversation” or behaviour in reference to the Jewish faith was public knowledge. He was a vicious enemy of the Church of God. Notice that he did not mention any gory details of his persecution of Christians. Thus, the readers’ minds were not soiled by those unnecessary details. The word “profiteth” means advanced, progressed or increased, implying that Paul was very good at what he did (i.e. persecution). But he regretted his past. Although the suffering of the Christians was ordained by God, it was wrong of Paul to abuse the Christians. When Paul was on the road to Damsacus, he was born-again, and he became part of the Church of God. He knew what the Pharisees and the governors were doing, for he was like them in the past.
In Galatians 1:15-16a, Paul moved from his sinful past to his ministry as a servant to God. He highlighted three important aspects.
Like Paul, our testimony for Christ must be about what Christ had done for us, and through us. “He (Christ) must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).