Every generation has new catchphrases or trendy words they embrace as their personal and unique terms of communication.
Who can forget all of those cool cats in the 1920s who coined phrases such as "the bees' knees" or " the cat's pajamas"?
The greatest generation of the 1940s introduced idioms such as "gobbledygook," "in cahoots with" and "above my pay grade."
In the 1970s, when I endured those glorious teenage years, our speech was peppered with phrases such as "groovy," "airhead" and "far out"!
I'll never forget the evening in 2000 that I attended a Christian concert with my son and his friends, who were then teenagers. On the way out of the exhilarating event, my 17-year-old son turned to me and said, "Mom, did you know God loves my generation more than He loves your generation?"
I, a flower child from the 1970s, responded with a grin, knowing that this was going to be good. "No, I wasn't aware of that. How do you know, Chris?"
"Because the Bible doesn't say that God is a groovy God. It says that He is an awesome God!" Chris, who grew up to become a songwriter and worship leader, punctuated his ridiculous hypothesis with a quick side hug.
Catchphrases are culturally defining and become the trademark or signature of a certain moment in history. The repeated utterance of such terminology creates nearly a motto for a generation.
The emerging generation of every era owns their unique language and basks in the words that they have created or embraced. One of the words that has been efficiently redefined by the current culture is the word "story."
As I listen to young adults talk about words like "narrative" and "story," I realize that those words are merely a new explanation of the classic and powerful idea that former generations expressed with the word "testimony."
I grew up in a church culture in which every Sunday night in church there was at least 30 minutes of testimonies coming from the hearts of the saints of God. Some wise and succinct folks would just give a short word of praise while others, unaware of the preacher's suggested time limit, told every gory detail of an event.
In youth group during those days, we were asked to give our testimony in order to encourage others and to verbalize what God had done in our lives that week.
My parents often took us us to special services where an amazing man or woman of God would tell their testimony and as young people, we were in awe of what the Holy Spirit had done in and through this ordinary person. Their testimony encouraged me to live a great life for the Kingdom of God.
But today, it is no longer called "testimony"—it is referred to as "narrative" or "story"—but the power remains the same!
"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Rev. 12:11).
It is in verbalizing what God has done for you that you are given the supernatural power to overcome! The blood Jesus shed on the cross is the first step into a victorious lifestyle, but never forget also that the word of your testimony has intrinsic and God-breathed force within.
Your human words, when focused on how God has redeemed you, empowered you and anointed you, become a weapon that will enable you to win a resounding victory in your life.
So tell your story. Share your narrative. Call it whatever your generation tells you to call it—but always remember that it is your testimony that will effectively and competently throw the winning punch in your life!
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written eight books, including, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, Defiant Joy!, Holy Estrogen!, No More Ordinary, Refined, Joy For All Seasons, Let There Be Joy! and Pass the Joy, Please! which releases on February 1, 2018. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.
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