What's Your Story?
Apr 12, 2017 by Timothy Duerr
We all have one.
Some of us have a story that’s yearning to be told, while others have an “if you really knew who I was, you wouldn’t like who I am” story we're trying to hide from the world.
During this season of Lent, we have been studying the stories (parables) Jesus told throughout the Bible. We’re waiting to hear Jesus call out the religious leaders for their failure to love others the way that God has commanded. We laugh at His disciples for their foolishness and hard-headed attitudes that don't “get” what Jesus is saying. Sometimes, we sit bored through a story we’ve heard a thousand times before.
But when do we allow the cross-hairs to focus on our own heart? It’s rare that we let the message Jesus shares to sink down deep and let HIS story engage with OUR story, isn’t it? When was the last time you really thought of yourself as unloving as the Pharisees? When was the last time you considered yourself as foolish as the disciples? When was the last time that you really criticized yourself for not paying attention better during church or for blowing off personal prayer or your time in God’s Word?
You see, Jesus’ parables, His stories, aren’t just age old tales for someone, somewhere in a bygone era. They are for us, here today. His words will sink deep into the hearts and minds of anyone who takes the time to let them today. His words will inform the way you think about politics, help you navigate the decisions you need to make in a difficult marriage, guide you to be a better boss or employee, or show you how to raise your children. But the problem is, we don’t truly listen to His story. We’re often so busy trying to tell our story that Jesus’ gets left out.
The time of Lent (the 7 weeks prior to Easter) is historically considered to be a time in the church year when we are called to a life of penitence, reflection and humility.
If I truly reflect on my story, I realize that I have failed WAY more times that I have succeeded. I realize that far too often, I (not the other guy) am actually the bad guy. I am the one to blame (not God, my wife or the Devil) for most of my problems. I feel just like the apostle Paul in Romans chapter seven when he says, “the good things I want to do I don’t end up doing, but instead the bad stuff I hate, that’s what I find myself doing more often than not.” Left to my own devices, things just get worse.
But, I can also say with him in Romans chapter 8, “But Thanks be to God, for now there is no more judgement for those who believe in Jesus Christ as the Lord of their lives and the savior from their sins.”
So what is your story? Are you the hero or the villain? Are you the underdog who can’t seem to catch a break? Are you the newborn believer whose faith-life is just beginning and you are looking to grow?
No matter who you are, what you’ve been through or what baggage you’re carrying, I encourage you to connect your story with Jesus’ story.