Dramatic conversion stories

(Brian Weeks) #1

I’d be the first to tell you that I don’t have a dramatic conversion story. I wasn’t what some might call a “bad guy” before I got saved. Before I became a Christian, I was what I’d consider to be a pretty good guy. And, when I did get saved - which I’m not entirely sure exactly when that was - I wasn’t addicted to drugs or on a bed of suicide or engaged in any sort of criminal activity. I was just a regular, ol’ guy. My conversion story is not dramtic. Or so I thought.

I’ve been pondering this this Advent and Christmas season. And as I reflect on what we celebrate at Christmas, I wonder if my perspective is skewed regarding this. I have a tendency to think of myself more than I think of God. I have a tendency to view life as mostly about me rather than all about God, and my conversion story is no different.

Yet, despite having considered myself a pretty good guy before I got saved, as I consider what Christmas seems to communicate, I see something different. If, indeed, it took an infinitely holy, all-powerful, completely satisfied God King who was fully and eternally happy seated on his throne in the community of the trinity to step down off of his throne and enter into this creation that he created and sustains in order to personally pay the price that I deserved to pay for my sins - well, that seems to change my perspective on a number of things.

First, maybe I wasn’t as good as I think I was before I got saved. And second, maybe the drama - the drama - isn’t ultimately about the things I was doing or not doing before I got saved but, rather, what God did in order to save me and who I was. Maybe, I do have a dramatic conversion story. One whose main character isn’t me but, rather, an infinite and infinitely glorious God who became a character in the drama that he wrote so that he could substitute himself in my place and pay the price that I could never pay, ultimately, all for his glory.

When I think about it like that, perhaps I, and all of us, do have an incomprehensibly dramatic conversion story - a conversion story that could inform my evangelism in new and powerful ways.

Have any of you ever felt like this - that your conversion story isn’t all that interesting? How might reconsidering this affect your worship and your telling of the good news to others?

(SeanO) #2

@Brian_Weeks I think when we emphasize what we have been saved “from” rather than “Who” has saved us for Himself - we distort the Gospel and turn it into a self-help booklet. When it is watered down to a self-help booklet, people don’t think they need it unless they need help. But praise God that He Himself is the treasure of the Gospel!

However, I think dramatic conversion stories do help people who doubt whether God would ever accept them believe that grace is possible for them as well. “If God accepted that guy, maybe he will accept me.” In fact, Paul the Apostle’s conversion story, in many ways, was dramatic. He helped kill the first martyr.

(Tim Ramey) #3

@Brian_Weeks and @Sean_Oesch, both of you make good points.

My conversion story does not make for a great testimony either, as I was “a good person.” But was I, as you asked yourself too Brian? I think that I had mentioned to you Brian, when we were together about how I worked along side a guy named Wally who literally spent all morning with telling me about his escapades as a drug dealer to children, owing thousands to those he received the drugs from that he marketed but he couldn’t pay, how he was shot at and nearly died and on and on ad infinitum… He ended by asking, “Wasn’t I just terrible?” I replied that, indeed he was, but I had a shocker for him and that was that I was worse.

You see, I never did all of the “bad” stuff but it is more miraculous that Jesus got hold of me because I was already “a good person.” Wally knew reality better than I did. He knew that he was a sinner. I was just a “fun-loving sinner.” Yet, as I consider my 6 siblings and where their lives, apart from Jesus, has taken them, I have an extremely exciting testimony. My testimony probably resonates with most people who do not think that they need a Savior. I know that I do and I know Him!

(Brian Weeks) #4


Exactly! Yes, I think what you’ve shared here captures what I’m realizing more and more - that my conversion story is a lot more dramatic than I might tend to think!

(angelina Edmonston) #5

All testimonies are great testimonies for Jesus!!!

We all needed a Savior as none of us could saved our own selves as you know. God said, "the heart of man is desperately wicked who can know it? " While one persons sin may be more obvious like drugs, another persons may be pride, comparison, being driven, or having self issues. I have yet to meet a person who has never struggled with something. Deep down, a sinner knows that he needs Jesus Christ. The mere fact HE is GOD and I am not is enough.

I love to hear about people who grew up in a Christian family. Or the people were normal moral people who got saved. To me this is outstanding. A miracle. I think of people who had a good family and who at an early age got saved and serve GOD to this day. That is impressive. And a story I wish I could share. This is a more excellent way.

When I look at my life I think back on all I could have avoided. And how I led others on a wrong path, not good, I had to repent for this to be forgiven. I think of all the years I could have served Jesus Christ from my youth. Or been a more moral person. Not that being good without Jesus gets us any where. Yet one thing happens to us all death. And for us both we needed a Savior who loved HIS creation enough to die for the just and un-just alike & even gives us eternal life.

I have had to learn to be content with my self over my past. Perhaps for you this is not an issue in which you have struggled. I am grateful for you.

Blessings in you walk,

(Tim Ramey) #6

@angelina_Edmonston you have made some statements that I so hardily agree with.

For one, you mentioned the issue of people knowing Jesus is a miracle. That is so true. We are a stubborn, selfish people who think that the world should revolve around us. That the Holy Spirit could speak to our hearts in a way that would cause us to trade in our lives for His is probably the most profound miracle ever!

Then your point regarding your past and all that was wasted is excellent. We are grateful that people accept Jesus on their death bed and yet, I often think, what a waste - they lived their whole lives without knowing Jesus.

Angelina, I regret many decisions that I made before knowing Jesus. I think the enemy would want us to beat ourselves up over that. Don’t let him lay a hand on you as you are a new creation in Jesus. I’m touched that you have a heart that would be concerned about how you could have been more of a blessing for Jesus. You have a very tender heart. It’s interesting, but I have struggled more over how I have hurt Jesus since becoming a Christian than I have before knowing Him.

Thank you for your very encouraging words. Isn’t it precious that we know Jesus? I am daily grateful for that fact - that He is not a religion but a friend.

May Jesus continue to free you increasingly as you are made more and more into His image!

(angelina Edmonston) #7

You are a blessing Tim.

(Merzamie Clark) #8

Ah, what a refreshing reflection to read, Brian! My thinking shifted with your writing, especially when you shifted from the all-too-common preoccupation with Self to God, and finally saw the drama, as you say, of the story that yours is only a part of. I am reading A Grander Story by Rick Hove and Heather Holleman and they introduce the book with something very similar!