One of the most difficult things in sharing a personal testimony regarding your experience with God is to relate something that is very personal and very spiritual to another person who may or may not have had a similar experience.
In the book The Giver, Jonas experiences memories that are part of a world that is not evident to most of the inhabitants of the community. Trying to express what color is to a person who only sees in black and white or sunshine to a person who has only known artificial light would challenge our language of expression.
Using a mainstream example, in the Mr. McBeevee episode of The Andy Griffith Show, where Opie has an encounter with a lineman, Mr. McBeevee, and then tries to describe the man to his “paw” and Barney. Opie’s description sounds outlandish because he doesn’t know how to describe Mr. McBeevee so that Andy would understand who he was. Opie tells his dad that Mr. McBeevee can climb trees and wears a large silver hat.
In a similar way, it is a challenge to share your salvation experience in such a way that others can relate to the person you are trying to describe. It is also important that your character and integrity are such that the person hearing your testimony feels he or she can trust what you are saying to be true. I think the following lines from the Mr. McBeevee episode says this very well, when Barney questions Andy accepting Opie’s assertion that Mr. McBeevee is real in spite of what seems to be obvious:
Barney: Yeah, but how can you explain it all?
Andy: I can’t.
Barney: But you do believe in Mr. McBeevee?
Andy: No… no… no. I do believe in Opie.
Fortunately, I believe God expresses himself to every individual who seeks Him. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” [Hebrews 11:6, NIV] If we start the conversation by testifying to what we know, God will finish it.
We must keep this in mind when interacting with friends and nonbelievers. Do not be afraid to share your faith for fear the receiver will not believe you or will have questions. God will take what you offer and will answer the receiver’s questions, if the person to whom you are witnessing has enough faith to ask the questions.