I think I actually once told someone I didn’t have a testimony, because I’d grown up in the church. I was wrong, of course. But I think we all know the really successful testimonies are the ones that go something like this:
- Things were really bad.
- I got saved.
- Things got really good.
I was thinking about this recently when I read the account of Paul’s conversion in Acts 9. It doesn’t really fit the pattern. In fact, you don’t even really get the impression that Paul was all that thrilled about “getting saved.” He was terrified, knocked blind, and didn’t eat or drink for 3 days afterward. It wasn’t too long before he was having to flee for his life, a pattern that continued for the next three decades.
Paul’s conversion seems to have been a whole lot about the fear of God and not very much about him being at the end of his rope and Jesus making things better.