Make the most of your chances to tell others the Good News.
Colossians 4:5 (The Living Bible)
Everybody loves a good story.
Novels and movies succeed only if they contain a good story—a story that really holds our attention. Even newscasters and reporters try to pepper the hard news with some interesting feature stories just to keep their audiences entertained. Likewise, nonfiction books sell better with the occasional story illustration interspersed with the facts.
Children don’t have to be very old to start requesting that mom or dad read them a story. Some of the sweetest times we remember as parents are the times when we were cuddled up with our children reading bedtime stories—or regaling them with the stories we remember our moms and dads telling us.
The longer we live, the more stories we have to tell. Passing along the stories of our lives is a way to leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren. How else will they know what it was like when we were growing up, or how our country survived depression and war, if we don’t tell them the stories? Hearing stories about relatives, deceased and living, helps children understand their place in the world. The stories give them roots, and can even provide the confidence and inspiration they need to succeed.
Of course, no story we tell will ever have as much impact as the story of how we came into a relationship with the Lord. Sharing our faith stories should be the easiest way to share our faith, because our relationship with the Lord is ours and ours alone. No one can tell our story except us, and no one can ever say it isn’t true when we have experienced it firsthand.
Jesus was not just a man of history, but a man of story. Since He was also the Son of God, He understood that many truths about Himself and His heavenly Father, kingdom truths, would be difficult for His followers to understand. So whenever He taught, He told stories, or parables.
The parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:30-35, gave them a clear picture of what it means to love your neighbor. A parable about a fig tree in Luke 13:6-9 helped them understand that God is a God of second chances. The story about the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-31 is repeated today as a timeless explanation of the love and forgiveness of God.
One of Jesus’ parables can inspire us to tell our own story—the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. If you remember, a farmer cast seeds indiscriminately, but only those that fell on the good soil produced a crop.
The Good News we have to share with others is that we have received the Word and understand it, and we have the blessed assurance that God has forgiven our sins and we have eternal salvation. The years might have made our listeners like the hard soil that can’t receive the truth, or they’ve had the truth choked out by the thistles and weeds in their lives. Yet the story we tell can breathe new life into them.
The best part of telling our own stories is that no one can tell us they aren’t true! We know what the Lord has done in our lives. No matter what else we have forgotten, we remember those times when He intervened to bless us or send us in a different direction. The details are likely crystal clear, but if not, we can ask Him to remind us and He will. A story that gives someone the hope of glory is a story that must be told.
Join the conversation by adding your comments below.
How can you tell your story to others?
by Nancey Brummette
Nancy Parker Brummett first led a Bible study in an assisted living setting in 1999 and she and the Lord developed The Hope of Glory in the years that followed. She also journeyed with her mother and mother-in-law through their adventures in aging, and her academic interest in aging led her to receive the Professional Certificate of Gerontology from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. The author of four other books, she now focuses her writing and speaking ministries on her passion for older adults and those who care for them. To learn more about Nancy’s life and work or to subscribe to her blog on aging issues, Take My Hand Again, visit her website.