“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” – Matthew 5:14-16.
Each of us has a story. Our story is a look back on our life-filled triumphs and disappointments and many things in between. Sharing our story can be difficult when there are more disappointments than triumphs. When we share our stories, they become an invitation to allow others to know us more intimately and to understand us better.
In the book of Acts, the apostles share Jesus with other people using scriptural references and things like that, but they usually tell their stories. They share their history and talk about what they’ve been through and seen, and that’s enough to make people around them stop and wonder about Jesus.
There is power in our stories. We can use our stories to reach out to the people around us. Not only do stories have power today, but they pass on faith from one generation to the next. Psalm 102:18 instructs: “Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.”
We are some of the generations for whom the story has been recorded. How is it we have the opportunity to know the God who created us? Because someone lived the story, and someone else told the story, and someone wrote down the story, others chose to repeat the story, and many were willing to die for the story. And so, generation after generation after generation, the story of God’s love for His children has been told — and we are the beneficiaries.
Your story is as unique as you are. No believer has the same story. But even though your story may differ from that of your fellow believers, a common theme and hero should always emerge. The hero and author of your story is Jesus. You didn’t come to Christ on your own. Christ came to you. You don’t have to have a miraculous story or even be an excellent communicator.
Paul believed it best to speak plainly, allowing the Holy Spirit to shine through his words and speak to the hearts of those whom God wanted to hear his story. He writes, “…my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
We have talked about how important it is to develop friendships with people, become people-focused, and discover their stories as we build these friendships. I’ve discovered that after you’ve listened to someone else’s story, they will typically ask you about your story. Therefore, it is essential to be ready to tell your story of what Jesus has done for you.
- Have you told your story to other Christians? To non-Christians?
- Is there something that keeps you from sharing your story with others? If so, what can you do this week to remove that hurdle?
- What can you do this week to be more ready to share your story when opportunities arise?