God wants to interpret it with you so that you completely understand your life and all that it means to be uniquely you. Problems often arise when we don’t want to tell our story. We pretend to be living a different life and therefore we tell a lie – we try to live as someone who God didn’t create us to be. We live in opposition to God and we deal with daily internal tension and turmoil as we try to live as an imposter of ourselves.
I can try to appear to be better, stronger, cleaner or more together than I really am. I can try to convince myself and everyone else that I have no struggles with pride or fear. I can tell everyone around me that all is well when it is not. I can come across as disciplined as I hide my addictions. I can talk big about my deep spirituality and just be going through the motions. Don’t live a phony life!
Another common problem for many Christians is to be embarrassed and dishonest about our past mistakes or experiences. I am convinced if we deny our past we are probably also hiding things in our present life as well. Scripture gives us example after example of the power of God to redeem our mistakes. When they are placed in the hands of God they become a key chapter in the story of our lives. They are commonly the very areas by which we connect to others and can then deliver the message of Jesus.
We don’t rub shoulders with too many perfect people but we encounter plenty with rough edges or mistakes they don’t want to relive. Every single chapter of your life story matters in the way God wants you to understand your life and His transforming power. Your triumphs and your tragedies all have their place. Your celebrations, conquests, tears and fears all have their place in what God wants to reveal in you and through you.
We see this clearly played out in Acts 22. Paul lays out his life story with all its “good, bad and ugly” components. He doesn’t run from any of it to appear to be someone he is not. He tells his story as he tells God’s story. The overlap is the way God intends for each of us to understand our lives. All of us who are followers of Jesus have some common themes of grace, forgiveness, hope, faith and love. But even though we have these things in common, each and every life story is unique. Even though no two lives are identical, God has the capacity to have them connect in a way that gives us the ability to deeply relate to one another.
God invites each of us to live the life that is ours alone to live. It will be filled with twists and turns. It will have days that are easy and probably more than a few that are tough. But through it all God is faithful and through it all you will have a story to tell.
From one story teller to another,