Okay, so I have been known to quote Oprah Winfrey on occasion. Just last week I actually caught myself saying to my fitness-conscious brother: “well, Oprah told me I should give up white foods and eating after 7pm.” While it is rare that I watch her show (when are the two kids EVER both asleep at 3pm), it is a guilty pleasure that I enjoy once in a while.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine wrote this about Oprah on his blog:
“First an article about Oprah told me that in one poll 33% of people said Oprah has had a ‘more profound effect on their spiritual lives than their clergyperson.’ As a matter of fact Jamie Foxx told Oprah when we get to heaven we’ll find out Oprah IS God!”
I was thinking about why it is that she does command such spiritual authority in people’s lives, and I think I figured it out. She is a person who lives and breathes testimony, and she gives it boldly and freely, unapologetically. Her life has been dramatically changed at different junctures (her struggles with her weight, her dealing with past sexual abuse, etc.) and she TALKS about it generously and with great passion, as if she truly believes that her story has the power to change you.
I have often exhorted my church members that we must be people of testimony. We can easily get so uptight about evangelism and what it means to “share our faith” and really, it boils down to this: am I a person who talks about those junctures in my life where I once was dead and am now alive; where I was once blind and now I see. And I don’t mean the story of being a fourth grader at Christian summer camp (my own “conversion” experience), but the story of this morning, and last night, and two weeks ago.
I think we can take a lesson from Oprah on this one.