How do I Integrate my Christian faith with day-to-day business practices?
Five Practical Steps – #4: Prepare your personal testimonies
By Dave Kahle
This is a question that lurks in the deeper reaches of almost every Christian professional and businessperson’s mind. The answer isn’t simple, and it varies from time to time and place to place.
Having said that, there are, however, certain timeless principles and practices that rise out of God’s word and have been put into practice by generations of marketplace Christians.
In the first of these posts, I identified the first: Shift Your Paradigm. In the next, I unpacked the second: Pray more and pray more intentionally. The third is: Seek to live out the fruits of the spirit. In this fourth post of the series, we going to look at the next key practice: Prepare your personal testimonies.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. ( I Peter 3:15)
This is God’s system for attracting people to the Kingdom. As we exhibit the Fruits of the Spirit to an ever-greater degree, we naturally attract people to want what we have. If we are obedient to Peter’s command, above, we will have prepared a response for those inevitable inquiries.
When we manifest the fruits of the spirit in our marketplace lives, some people will take notice. The Holy Spirit will prompt some of the people around you, attracted by your Christian character and curious about your faith, to ask you about it. At that point, you’ll need to explain your faith, and what God has done for you, your family, and your business or profession. This situation – someone asking you about your faith – is so likely to happen that the Lord directs us to prepare for it.
All of us have two parts to our stories about our relationship with God, and we need to prepare both parts of the story. First is our conversion experience – how God intervened in our lives and brought us into a relationship with Him. The second is just as important – how God has worked with us, to mold our character and improve our lives since our conversion.
If we are going to be obedient to Peter’s direction, we need to prepare both parts of that story. Some people will write out a page or two of personal testimony in preparation. The act of writing it out forces some precision on your part, gives you the opportunity to edit it and embeds it more soundly into your mind – making it easier for you to bring it to the surface and find the words when you need to share them.
In your conversion testimony, it is important that you be transparent and honest with your personal testimony. God has, by his grace, brought you out of difficult circumstances, most likely caused by your sin. Don’t avoid that. It is the universal condition. People will relate to and be drawn to the difficulties in your life as much as the successes. Tell the story of what you were before Christ, how you encountered him, and what you have become after that. Talk about the change in you. Add a Bible verse or two. Keep it under one side of one page. Then, read it several times to yourself to embed it into your brain.
Then go onto telling some parts of the story of how God has worked in in your life since your conversion to mold your character, to communicate with you, and to order your life. Ask Him to inspire your story, so that you tell the parts of it that He wants you to convey. Follow the same guidelines – a page or two, written out, and then practiced a few times. Your outline should be something like this:
· The situation before God’s intervention.
· How God intervened in your life.
· The situation after that intervention.
· How God has changed you.
Having done that, you will have complied with Peter’s direction, and take a huge step toward living your faith out in the marketplace.
Let’s review the four practical practices:
1. Shift your paradigm
2. Pray more and pray more intentionally.
3. Seek to live out the Fruits of the Spirit
4. Prepare your personal testimonies.
This simple approach to living out your faith in the marketplace will provide you a platform upon which to add more specific practices as you grow in your influence. It is Biblical, and within the scope of everyone reading
this. If only a percentage of the people reading this would apply it, we could turn the world upside down!
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