“I don’t thank God for the gutters He pulled me out of. I thank God for the gutters He kept me from in the first place.” This sentiment was part of a lecture by Bob Stromberg many years ago, and it so resonated with me that it has become my story as well.
In my youth, the church’s primary means of evangelism was to bring in someone with a frightful story, and the more frightful the better. Drugs, alcohol, sex, gangs, prison… these were the best story settings. And then came the inevitable twist – God saved them from that life and now they follow Him and everything has turned out great.
Next, the story was similar but the endings were a little more believable. God saved them from their horrible lives and while everything isn’t peaches and rainbows, they follow God and He gives them purpose.
In each of these periods of Evangelical evangelism, I felt left out. I had a really great childhood. My parents loved me, cared for me, raised me in the church, and I never had need of the racier sins. To this day I’ve never even been buzzed let alone drunk or high, and I was a virgin on my wedding night. My wife is beautiful, smart, and Godlier than I am, and I have raised 4 great kids with amazing lives themselves. So my testimony is pretty boring and sounds way too much like bragging to be a good evangelism tool.
So, I have to borrow from the bible and its accounts of redeemed sinners. Paul is the prime example, but Moses, Abraham, Gideon and many others fit this storyline.
So, as a sinner who lived a really great life, all I can say is that by my experience, following God has never let me down. If you aren’t following Him, think about it. Don’t wait until you have no other choice.