Your Story Matters for the Kingdom of God

Karen Del Tatto

Contributing Writer
Published May 22, 2024
Your Story Matters for the Kingdom of God

Your story matters for the Kingdom of God because it will be a literal lifeline to those who are on the verge of perishing.

In my early years of being a Christian, I was blessed with being part of a wonderful small group. We were all a similar age with young families. Every Friday night we got together for Bible study. One evening, we went around the room sharing our testimonies. One by one, my friends shared about their life prior to knowing Jesus and how He delivered them. As I listened to their stories, I was amazed at what God had brought them out of and how much their lives had changed since knowing Jesus. However, I also wondered, “Am I really saved?” 

You see, each of my friends remembered the exact date they were saved and where they were and what brought about their conversion, not to mention, some of the serious things they were delivered from. Yet, I don’t remember the exact date I was saved… I think I remember where I was when it happened, but again, I’m not exactly sure. I also am a self-proclaimed Miss Goody Two Shoes. No, really. I’ve always been a rule follower. I’ve never smoked or drank or partied. I am an obedient daughter. I never got in trouble at school. I pride myself on my work ethic and honesty. So I didn’t have this dramatic story of God’s salvation out of the pit of destruction. Then it was my turn to share and I proceeded with tongue in cheek. Would the others wonder, “Gee, I don’t think she’s saved”? 

As I began to speak, I shared my story about how I didn’t have this lightning bolt moment of salvation, how I didn’t have a dramatic change in my way of life, but what I did have was a conviction that even though I am a Miss Goody Two Shoes, I recognized that there was indeed sin in my life. Before, I didn’t understand what I was reading in the Bible. Now, I could feel the Holy Spirit guiding and teaching me as I read. And the most marked change I experienced was a love for the Word of God and for Jesus that was not there before. I may not have known the date and time of my conversion, and it definitely didn’t come with bells and whistles, but indeed, the Holy Spirit came quietly for me, like John 3:8 says, “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Let’s look at three typical salvation stories and how they matter for the Kingdom of God:

The Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes Story

As I shared above, I am a Miss Goody Two Shoes, but I know I’m not alone in this. For all of us who fall in the category of Miss Goody Two Shoes, our story does matter for the Kingdom of God. In fact, in a lot of ways, it may be one of the most relatable.

How many of us have heard someone say, “Oh, I’m a good person. I know I’m going to Heaven. I haven’t broken any of the Ten Commandments.”  Those who think this way are regarding entrance into heaven with a works righteousness mindset. Isaiah 64:6 says, “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.” And James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole Law, yet stumbles in one point, has become guilty of all.”  

As those who have a natural bent to obedience and rule-following, once we become a believer, we then understand what Jeremiah means when he said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10). The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and teaches us the way to walk.  

But we now have a story to tell. We have a unique perspective on a very common mindset about the “criteria” for going to heaven. Through our story, we can share how the Lord has changed us from a Miss Goody Two Shoes to the Sinner Saved By Grace. We may, by the world’s standards, have been good, but we now recognize before a Holy God that we had committed sins of the heart… Selfishness, judgmentalness, anger, vanity, jealousy, covetousness, etc. lived in us and we needed to confess to the Lord those sins and repent. We then can share the good news that through salvation in Jesus Christ, we now walk in an even better version of ourselves because we are walking with the Lord. When we testify to how we walked before as “good” people compared to how we walk now in the fruit of the Spirit through love, joy patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, we testify with power that it is not “being good” that gets us into heaven but having a relationship with Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Your Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes story matters for the Kingdom of Heaven.

The One Who Was Far from God Story

I think we can all agree that Saul (before he became the Apostle Paul) was very far from God. He mercilessly persecuted Christians and even stood by and watched when they stoned Stephen to death. Saul definitely had the literal lightning bolt salvation story while on the road to Damascus when a flash of light came from the sky and he was struck blind. The Lord then called Saul to ministry as the Apostle Paul to proclaim Jesus. Galatians 1:15-16 says, “But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.” Whenever Paul would preach the gospel message, he almost always began with his own testimony of how he persecuted Christians. Not only that, he was known for being a zealot for the Jews, always policing the law. His testimony was a powerful witness to the Gospel of Grace because people saw the radical change in Paul’s life to one for Christ from what it was before… against Christ.

If your story is one of deliverance from a life far from God, your testimony will be just as powerful, especially to those who knew you when you were in a lifestyle that was contrary to a godly one, but to anyone you share it with nonetheless. Your witness is that of God’s love and forgiveness, that He accepts anyone who comes to Him with a contrite heart and a willingness to repent. Your story is one of great hope for those who feel that God would never save them, let alone forgive them. Luke 23:39-43 says “One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, 'Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!' But the other responded, and rebuking him, said, 'Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our crimes; but this man has done nothing wrong.' And he was saying, 'Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!' And He said to him, 'Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.'”

God can continue to redeem your story through those you tell it to. Your story matters for the Kingdom of God because it will be a literal lifeline to those who are on the verge of perishing.

The One Who Grew Up in the Church Story

For those of you who grew up in the church and accepted Jesus at a young age, your story still matters for the Kingdom of God. You might wonder who you could possibly witness to or how you could impact someone with the gospel message, but you can.

I would say there are two categories within this story: Those who walked faithfully with the Lord from a young age and those who may have strayed for a time like the prodigal son. Both of these stories matter.

For those who have walked faithfully with the Lord, you are able to show a life of joy and peace. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 11:14, “in order somehow... [to] save some of them.” When others see your life of contentment in the Lord whether outside of the church or inside the church, your story can be impactful to leading someone to truly know the Lord and understand what it means to have a relationship with the Lord. You are the “Bible” that people read.

For those who backslid for a time but then returned to the Lord with your whole heart, you have a wonderful story to demonstrate God’s love and patience with those who are His. You may have someone in the pews who is struggling in the same way you once did. By sharing your story of how God rescued you from wandering, you are encouraging them not to continue in a path that is moving away from the Lord. By sharing how hard it was for you to feel separated from God because of your own actions or mindset, and how surrounded by love from God you feel now that you have returned, you may prevent someone from remaining in darkness and instead spur them on to walk with the Lord once again.

Your story as one who grew up in the church matters for the Kingdom of God.

Something I have shared with my children and in my time as a ministry leader is that your story is your story.  No one can dispute what God has done in your life. The Lord brought you to Himself in a unique way to you. Your experience with God as a result of your conversion is your experience. My hope is that by saying this, it will remove any fear of sharing your story. When you tell of what God has done in your life, it will speak to someone who relates to your story. And although I may have categorized three typical salvation stories, each one of us has a different version within that story that can have a great impact for the Kingdom of God.

Your story matters for the Kingdom of God. Use it for His Glory.

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/PeopleImages

Karen Del Tatto is a blogger, author, women's ministry leader, pastor's wife, mom, and grandmother who is passionate about the Word of God. Her blog Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge and her books Choosing to Trust God: Breaking the Habit of Worry, A 30-Day Devotional and Choosing to Trust God Companion Journal reveal her heart for providing Biblical insights to encourage women to grow in and through their struggles while equipping them to overcome. Karen and her husband live in Rhode Island and enjoy walks in the woods, owling, and spending time with their grandchildren.