What’s your story?
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
I was at a steak dinner at my church earlier this year put on by the men’s ministry where an NFL player was going to speak to us about being men of faith. Darrell Stuckey is a defensive back and special teams captain with the San Diego Chargers. And he is a Christian. Through his ministry Living4One Darrell is able to tell his story, which is really God’s story in his life, to audiences around the country. He has been given a platform and he is using it to point people heavenward.
But before Darrell took the stage, one of our guys got up and shared some of his own personal story. Covered in tattoos and wearing a black shirt, black flat rim hat, and black shorts down to his calves, he looked more like someone you’d meet at an illegal street race than in a church sanctuary. As sad as it was, his story was not uncommon: alcohol and drugs at a young age, in and out of prison, becoming a father when he was still just a kid himself. But through the witness of some faithful men he knew, he was introduced to Jesus and is a new man today. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as he told his story, fumbling over his words and looking mostly at his feet. Talk about a testimony!
Not one of us in the room believed that we had a story with the drama and action this one did. None of us could say we were saved after being so remote from the Father. And none of us would have wanted to have to follow that with our own testimony!
But sadly, that’s what many of us assume our story needs to be if it’s going to be worth telling. There have to be tales of sex and drugs and rock and roll. Without obvious rebellion, our salvation seems somehow weak. It seems too easy. We were already pretty much there, right? We were nice guys and gals who just needed to pray a prayer and start going to church so we could get nicer, right?
Wrong! Each Christian has a story to tell, no matter how new you are to the faith. And those of you who were raised in the church and can’t remember a time without Christ also have a story to tell. You see, it’s not really your story at all. It’s His story, and you just happen to be the person with the most intimate understanding of your part in it. And as a Christ follower, you have the privilege (I might argue that you have the responsibility) of sharing God’s story with a world that does not know Him. And the best place to start is with your own role in it.
Many people have found that sharing their own story opens the doors to talking about what the Scriptures have to say about creation, humanity, sin, and Jesus’ work on the cross, substituting Himself for you and for me. Sharing your own spiritual journey may be the catalyst for someone to begin such a journey of their own.
Not surprisingly, Darrell’s story held our attention and encouraged us in our own walks with God. Hopefully there were even some guys there who hadn’t heard the good news of Jesus, and maybe even took a step closer to Him that night because this man stepped out in faith and shared God’s story in his life.
So – what’s your story?
Take-home verse: 1 Peter 3:15
Take-home point: Every single Christian has a story to tell about God’s saving grace in their lives.
Questions for thought
Have you shared the story of your faith journey with anyone? Recently?
Where does your story begin? I mean, what life stage or event represents the very start of your spiritual journey?
If you’re not in the habit of sharing your testimony (which is just a $5 word for your story), spend some time thinking about it and even writing it out. We can learn a lot about ourselves by articulating what’s in our heads.
Heavenly Father, we give you thanks and praise for giving each of us a part in your eternal story. May our enthusiasm overflow to the point where we just can’t keep it to ourselves. I pray that this very week you would open up opportunities for us to share our story with others. All glory be yours, amen.