Exaggeration is killing the effectiveness of the Gospel of the Kingdom. To exaggerate is to enlarge beyond bounds or the truth, to think of or describe something as larger or greater than it really is.
Guilty. Most of us would admit to either telling or at least hearing an exaggerated testimony, story or reported statistic. We get a little “evangelastic” with the number of conversions, we make a guesstimate instead of a more accurate estimate, we stretch the truth to make our testimony and story more dynamic, but my question is does God really need our help? I don’t think so.
Throughout scripture we are encouraged to follow good doctrine and warned about getting caught up in fables. A fable was a story that was fabricated for moral instruction. The biblical definition for fable is an invention or falsehood. Paul expresses his concerns in his letter to Timothy about these inventions of falsehood.
1 Timothy 1:3-4 – Remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 nor give heed to fables…
1 Timothy 4:7 – But reject profane and old wives’ fables…
Paul writes in Titus 1:13-14 – This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.
WE DON’T NEED INVENTIONS OF GOD’S SUPERNATURAL INTERVENTIONS!
The english definition for fable is a legendary story of supernatural happenings. When we exaggerate are claims of the supernatural we are creating legends of the supernatural rather than a legacy of the supernatural. Exaggeration leads to creating legends that can never be lived up to or reproduced causing the generation that follows to grow desperate and discouraged because they are chasing unverified claims. When we speak the truth about the supernatural we create a legacy of truth that can be believed, followed, and celebrated. We can literally point to a person, place or event and say this is what God did in that person, in that place, or in that moment. It’s recorded and verified, reported and confirmed.
We see this stamp of responsibility of recording and reporting by John the disciple in John 21:24 –
“This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that this testimony is true.”
I love the powerful testimonies I am personally witnessing and hearing. There is no doubt that God is saving, God is healing, and God is setting people free, but with the sharing of our testimonies comes the responsibility of verifying our claims and “knowing that this testimony is true.”