Everybody’s Got a Story
For some reason, I couldn't do anything to make this guy happy. He didn't like me—or anything about me. He didn't like my sermons. He didn't like my sense of humor (I needed to be more serious).
So, in an effort to understand what he was trying to tell me, I took him to lunch. My first question was innocent enough, “Will you tell me your story?”
I wasn't ready for the answer.
For the next hour and a half, I heard a story of heartbreak after heartbreak. After losing his best friend in Vietnam, he came home to find out his wife had left him. His family, because he hadn't been home to defend himself, blamed him for the divorce.
For more than 25 years, my friend had been trying to prove to everyone he was a good guy—that he was a guy worth loving. Needless to say, that’s an impossible burden to carry. Grace wasn't part of his story.
For the rest of the afternoon, we unpacked his story. We talked about grace, forgiveness, and the freedom to move on. After our lunch, this man became a very good friend to me.
Friendships happen best when we know each other’s story, but most of us won’t listen that long. As a result, too many of our friends won’t or can’t tell their stories, so they remain trapped.
An untold story is an unresolved story. You can’t move on until you have a safe place to tell your story, to lay out the pieces and see what they mean, to forgive who needs to be forgiven, to wrap up what you can, then let go of the rest.
The body of Christ should be a safe place to tell our stories, a place where—without fear of judgment—we can put it all out there. And with the loving help of Christian brothers and sisters, we can find out what it all means.
But it shouldn't stop there. Salvation happens when you attach your story to God’s great story in Jesus Christ.
We serve a story-making God. He wants to hear your story. Then, He wants you to hear His story and graciously give you a place in it, writing you into His great story of redemption.
You don’t really know someone until you know his or her story. And everybody’s got a story—even God.
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