Every Tuesday during staff lunch at Cross Point, we go around the room sharing stories from the week before about life change and what God is doing in and through our church. It’s a really cool opportunity to just sit back and watch God do what He does best. However, in those moments, I often find myself thinking about a great story that I could tell, but I’m too afraid to. Too nervous to talk into a microphone to the 70+ world-changers in the room. Too anxious that my story isn’t as good as the one right before. What if I mess up? What if my face turns red? What if I don’t do the story justice? What if, what if, what if. And before I know it, the time to tell stories is over and I’ve missed my chance. I always end up feeling relieved… and disappointed.
Have you ever felt that way? There’s a perfect opportunity for you to tell your God-given story, but you’re afraid, unsure, lacking in confidence, and before you know it, the moment has passed. Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we doubt that our story matters?
In a world of over 7 billion people, it can be easy to feel small and unimportant. God created each of us in His own image, but doesn’t that mean none of us are actually unique? In her blog, “Authentic Intimacy”, Juli Slattery responds to that question brilliantly: “As people we share some universal qualities of God like we have a will, we’ll live eternally, and we have the capacity for moral reasoning. However, we also have the potential to represent uniquely the character of God… No two people have the same story of God’s goodness or exemplify the same quality of His character. We each have the potential to testify uniquely of the Lord to those who observe us or know us.”
Our stories are POWERFUL and when we neglect to share them, others miss out on learning about unique aspects of God. How’s that for convicting?
One of my favorite things about hearing others’ stories is that once I hear them, it’s impossible for me to hate them. The more I learn about what makes people tick, why they are the way they are, what happened to them while growing up, the more I understand them and I honestly don’t think it’s possible to hate someone when you truly understand them.
When you hear someone’s story, you hear their perspective, their way of thinking, what they care about and value. Likewise with you. When you have the courage to tell your story, you share your perspective, your way of thinking, and what you value. Those unique qualities that God gave you and only you come out when you’re willing to tell your story. And if God is glorified when we tell our stories of truth, life, and redemption, imagine how much Satan wants to keep us from doing so.
Now it’s your turn: what story will you tell?