What’s Your Story?
They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me. Galatians 1:23-24
When my kids were little and I was working in the Emergency Room, every night before bed, they wanted to hear ER stories. It was an interesting place to work and the more gross or gory the story, the more my kids loved it. One more story!
We’re not a lot different. We love stories and the more dramatic or scandalous the details, the more interested we are. That’s why I use stories here in the blog to convey and promote faith and recovery. If I simply quoted Bible verses, and shared no details or story from my life, you likely wouldn’t read much. We love story and our story is often what God uses (or wants to use) to speak into the lives of those around us.
In today’s passage, Paul spoke of his own conversion and radical transformation. When others heard of it, they celebrated and praised God because of it. Everyone loves a redemption story and the Christians that Paul had once persecuted forgave and embraced his change.
This is how it’s supposed to work. We hear of someone else’s life transformation and we’re happy for them, but perhaps it makes us uncomfortable, because we’re still struggling. So, we use the story as motivation to pursue transformation ourselves. We’re not made perfect, yet now we have our own story to share with others. Our struggle is now an asset we can use to help others who struggle similarly. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like.
In honestly sharing our own struggle, failures, and successes, God uses our story to speak into the lives of those around us – unless we have no story. The reason we have no story isn’t that we don’t have an interesting struggle. You don’t have to go out and get addicted to drugs to have a useful story. We all have something with which we struggle that we can use to help others. The problem for many of us is that we’ve not yet allowed God to transform us. We’re simply wallowing in our struggle.
We don’t have to be made perfect to have a story. We do though, need to learn faith and obedience, doing what it takes to abandon the old life to live in the new one. We will still struggle – that makes us real and relatable – but in daily following Christ, we will have a story worth sharing. Then, he will use our story to help those around us.