We all have stories. Stories that open up old wounds so they expose the raw pain that lies underneath. Stories that make us feel unworthy, unloved and unwanted. Our temptation is to keep it buried, so we can avoid the hurt and emptiness.
I know what you are thinking: If I share my story, what will people think of me?
But what if your story could change someone’s life? Would you share it then?
Our stories are still one of the best ways to demonstrate God’s presence in our lives. As we share our testimonies we also share the Good news of Christ. As our means of evangelism have changed, our need to share the gospel has not.
“You yourselves are our letter, known and read by everyone, being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, written not by ink but with the Sprit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on the tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:2
Bob Hostetler in his article entitled “Who Changed the Channel” said, “Focus your Christian witness on the personal. Today’s seekers are not so much asking whether the Gospel is credible; they are asking whether it is relevant. ‘Is it true?’ has been replaced by ‘Will it work for me?’ Thus, there has never been a better time to share our personal testimonies.” 1
Sharing our stories with others not only heals us but helps heal others, too. Here are three key ingredients to sharing your stories, no matter how difficult they may be:
Authenticity– is the key to sharing our testimonies. Our passion for what God has done for us should shine in our lives. Our stories are how we communicate that passion.
Honesty- Honesty does not only involve being honest with others, but yourself as well. If you are a mother, share your failures as a mother. When you are wrong, apologize. Demonstrate your humanity rather than a distant authority figure. Show your children that God is a loving, personal friend and father. Sue Kline states, “Most postmoderns are interested in hearing people’s stories. If we listen with genuine interest to the stories of non-Christians, they will listen to our stories, which are just like theirs but with the added surprise of redemption.” 2
Vulnerability- In today’s postmodern culture, people are longing for relationships with those who aren’t afraid to share the heartaches and struggles of life with others. Life is messy. So is the church. Those who are willing to admit that can successfully point to others to the One who can fix that mess.
We all have a story to tell. Those stories together form the fabric of the tapestry that is the church.
Michelle S. Lazurek is a pastor’s wife, a mother, an author, and a speaker. She is a contributing writer for Movieguide Magazine, a community group leader for Incourage, and has been published in numerous places such as Charisma Magazine and Women’s Ministry.net’s Tip of the Week. Please visit her website at www.michellelazurek.com, find her on Facebook at Michelle S. Lazurek or follow her on Twitter @mslazurek. You can also email her at [email protected]