Did you do it? Did you come up with a story this week about how God showed Himself to be real in your life? If you need a review of telling your story, click here for last week’s post.
I love how my friend Renee Swope helps us to see our story. In her book A Confident Heart, she says, “We can trust God’s plans as we realize that His story is being written in ours. His power is perfected in the broken places we consider to be our greatest weaknesses….”
When you’re choosing the part of your story you want to share with others, remember this: God shines most brightly when our own strength is dim. (Click here to Tweet.)
Here’s what we don’t want to happen. We don’t want others to walk away saying, “Wow. She sure has a great story.” Although that sounds like a good result, it actually isn’t. Why? Because we want others to connect their story and their need to ours.
We want our story to make them feel their need for God acutely. We want them to walk away saying, “Wow. If God is that real in her life, He can be that real in mine too.”
In a short, conversational story-telling format, you can connect your story to theirs with just one question.
“I just didn’t know what to do next. Have you ever run into a time like that when you just didn’t know the right decision to make?”
“I was suffering beyond what I thought I could handle. Have you ever felt like that?”
“I knew I didn’t create or deserve such an incredible outcome, and I started thinking about where that blessing came from. Have you ever wondered where the good stuff in your life has come from?
When you think about your personal story, what common human thread runs through it? Suffering? Loneliness? Joy? Use that element to ask a question, and then listen carefully. This helps our story to become more of a conversation than a monologue. It shows the other person that we care about their life too. Listening to the Holy Spirit while you’re listening to your friend may give you the perfect insight to share later in the conversation.
In Jesus Calling, Sarah Young records a challenge she received from Jesus, “Learn to listen to me even while you are listening to other people. As they open their souls to your scrutiny, you are on holy ground. You need the help of My Spirit to respond appropriately. Ask Him to think through you, live through you, love through you.”
Listening is key. As they tell you about their similar experience, we can pray they feel their need for God too.
We build a sense of need, so we can do step 3–present God as the hero. Next week, I’ll get to the most vital and exciting part, so don’t miss it!