So, what’s your story?

At tables across America people will gather for the feast of Thanksgiving and they will tell stories. Conversation will start about the weather, football teams, and move on to history.  There will be epic tales of heroic achievements and embarrassing remembrances of accidents, spills, and scrapes with the law. Stories will make us laugh and cry. They are important because they define and explain us. Tracy told us a story in church last night about disappointment, hope, and expectation. Her deepening trust in our Heavenly Father inspires us. Eric told us a story about broken dreams and learning how to let go of pride so he could find peace at the center of God’s will.  I love them both a little more now that I know a story! The more of your story I know, the better I understand who you are.
An authentic story is compelling. It reveals the triumphs and failures, the hits and misses of life. If a person is loved enough to know they can tell their real story, they become beautiful from the inside out. Why do you think that 12 step recovery groups are so helpful? AA creates a safe place for a person to tell his story, not the pretend one that he used to tell himself and others, but the true one. Jesus says the truth sets us free. Oh, that we would believe that! He loves us, no matter who we are, where we have been, or what we have done: good or bad! But, we cannot really know His love until we are ready to tell the truth; first to ourselves, then to others.
Our impulse is to change our story, to conceal the ugly parts, to magnify the moments of success. Pride makes hypocrites of us. Jesus warns us to “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees—their hypocrisy. The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!” (Luke 12:1-3, NLT) Get your story straight, tell it truthfully. We find forgiveness, healing, and are able to live transparently when we are living in the Truth.
So, what’s your story?
Have you written a fiction about yourself that has enslaved you?
Have you believed a lie that somebody told you, a falsehood that controls you to this day?
The truth is that God made you, knows the real you, and loves you as much today as He ever will. His love makes the truth safe to tell. John reminds that “If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God. … if anyone does sin, we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s.” (1 John 1:8-2:2, The Message)
I’m looking forward to some stories today. And, I’ll tell a few myself.
I was once a sinner, but I came
Pardon to receive from my Lord.
This was freely given, and I found
That He always kept His word.
I was humbly kneeling at the Cross,
Fearing naught but God’s angry frown,
When the heavens opened and I saw
That my name was written down.
In the Book ’tis written
“Saved by grace.”
O the joy that came to my soul!
Now I am forgiven and I know,
By the blood I am made whole.
There’s a new name
Written down in glory,
And it’s mine.
O yes, it’s mine!
And the white-robed
Angels sing the story,
“A sinner has come home.”
For there’s a new name
Written down in glory,
And it’s mine,
O yes it’s mine.
With my sins forgiven
I am bound for heaven,
Nevermore to roam.
A New Name In Glory
Miles, C. Austin
© Public Domain 

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