"I used to smoke, but God helped me to quit"
"I used to drink, but God helped me to quit"
"I used to cuss like a sailor, but God helped me to quit"
" I used to_______, but God helped me to quit."
The list goes on. It's as if the entire reason we accepted Christ was so that we could start behaving better. Seriously? That's it? Jesus went through the pain and agony to simply help us behave better?
Now, don't get me wrong--of course it's a better choice to not smoke, drink or chew, or ever kiss, boys who do. The bottom line, though, isn't being made to behave better, it's being brought from death to life.
Too often we get wrapped up in what God's helping us do, that we've failed to acknowledge what He's done. I'm not talking about a miraculous way of paying off bills, healing the sick, suddenly becoming employed, meeting the man/woman of your dreams, although those are fine.
I'm talking about being doorknob dead, and being made alive.
When we were dead in our sins, God made us alive through Christ. Before we start worrying about the 'doing', we can bask in the 'being'. Being a child of God can involve doing good works, but so can "being" a Buddhist.
In agreement with the Growing in Grace guys, I have to admit that sometimes our testimony is more of what 'we' are doing or have done either for God, or with God's help, and it takes the focus off of God and onto our behavior. What if you've been a decent person pretty much your whole life? You don't have a testimony? You can't conjure up a list of "I used to's" when you never did them to begin with. So what's the difference?
Motivation. Are you behaving in hopes of being blessed by God or humanity? Or you behaving out of fear of retribution--either from God or humanity? Anything less than an outflowing of God's life and love from with you, is the wrong motivation.
So what's your motivation?