This might seem a bit of a funny subject to blog on…
I want to talk how we tell our stories to one another…
Sometimes the way we tell our stories can inspire, encourage and embolden those around us, other times stories can discourage, deflate and disenfranchized people.
I have heard stories that have left me feeling like “I’m such a rubbish Christian” and there have been other stories I discovered later which I had wished I’d heard earlier when I had been struggling with various things.
The Bible urges us to “be witnesses” and reminds us that (they) “overcame by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony” -in other words our story connects the events of the cross 2000 years go with right here, and right now.
It is good to tell our story. I wear a white band from just before the Archbishop came which has the words written on it “share your story” as a daily reminder to help me to remember to tell the story of his work in my life. It is my story, but it is much more HIS story.
As I read the Bible I see the Bible authors as very real and honest about their vulnerabilities and attribute the Victories to God, and he gets the glory.
The problem people often get this the wrong way around, covering our vulnerabilities and attributing the victories to ourselves, and trying to grab the glory that belongs to him.
And stories which steal Gods glory won’t advance his Kingdom.
Yet as human beings we can be insecure and competitive, and too often our stories and our talking becomes about us.
The danger is with this is our stories of God at work in his world and in our lives get taken with a pinch of salt, like the fisherman whose fish gets bigger every-time the story is told, the danger with the boasting pastor is what is termed “Evangel-elastic” work.
Let watch our mouths and our stories carefully that the stories of God are delivered authentically and honestly to the hearts and minds of those who hear them, knowing that we -and our words- can be trusted.
I heard about an amazing move of God, which is keeping careful records of all that God has done in bringing people to him, excluding the stories that can’t be verified, so that they can’t be accused of ‘evangel-elastic”… I can understand and applaud them doing this for God’s glory and honour, but it makes me so sad that it is necessary.
I do believe that Hyperbole is not a virtue of the Kingdom of God, nor an honourable trait amongst Christians.
So, my thoughts, are lets return real and authentic testimonies to our every day lives, lets share our stories, but make sure it glorifies Christ rather than ourselves and is delivered with authenticity and truth.
Yes, our stories may challenge our hearers to go deeper and push into more of God, but if delivered in the right way wont be condemning or belittling to those who hear them.
Let’s own our vulnerabilities and glorify Christ with his victory.
God will be at work in your life, perhaps he’s calling us to see and recognise him more?
Christianity involves the mountain top and the valley, and it is okay to share both in our story, let us partner him in writing his story in our lives, a story that will bring glory to Christ Jesus, and a story worth telling.