When I was a kid, I used to love this huge book of bedtime stories – there was one for every single day, and I’d bug my mum to read the day’s story to me before going to bed every night. Sometimes, when I got bored during the day, I’d pull that book out and read my same favourite stories over and over again.
Why are we so fascinated by stories? Why do we love them so much?
I’m guessing that one reason is because they’re so easy to see ourselves in. Concepts and theories can be abstract, but stories can become so real for us. We can see ourselves fighting that dragon, exploring the jungles of Africa, and falling in love. Stories are how lessons, values and laws are passed from generation to generation. Why, Jesus Himself taught the Good News through stories.
Everyone Has A Faith Story
Which is why I was really psyched when Esther shared a couple of things to think about when thinking about our own faith story. Coming up with our own faith stories will help us put our thoughts, experiences, and feelings into a narrative – both to remind ourselves about how far we’ve come as well as inspire the people around us.
Now, I know that not everyone thinks they have a faith story to share:
- Not everyone has been transformed in a blaze of glory like Paul
- Not everyone has slain their proverbial giants like David
- Not everyone has literally heard God calling like Samuel
And yet – as Esther shared today:
That’s right – the very fact that we know Jesus means that we have a faith story to tell! It may not be like Paul’s or Samuel’s or David’s or anyone else’s… but it’s your story.
Remember that Jesus has called each and everyone of us to the Father – that’s a story in itself. All we have to do is to take the time to pray, reflect, think about what it is, and then tell it.
Every good story follows a certain structure. It goes something like:
- Once Upon A Time…
- One Day…
- Until Finally…
Our faith story is no different. We want to think about what our life was like before (Once Upon A Time…), what happened when we accepted Christ (One Day…), and what happened after that (Until Finally…).
Here are some really useful questions we could ask ourselves to help build our own faith stories:
Q1: What Was Your Life Like Before You Trusted Jesus?
Note: This doesn’t mean you have to be a saint or trust 100% in Jesus right now! We are all on a faith journey – so this step is just to help us reflect about where we were several years ago, before we even began this journey.
What were your attitudes, needs and problems? What was your life focused around?
Q2: How Did You Come To Accept Christ?
This is a tough cookie – although this is the “One Day” part of the story, not many people can pinpoint the exact moment when they came to accept Christ. For many of us, the journey to Christ was a gradual one, often spanning several years of taking two steps forward and one step back.
Still, it’s worth asking: What were your initial reactions to that call to change? Why did you start to feel positively about that change? What feelings did you struggle with?
Q3: What Happened After You Trusted Christ?
Last comes the resolution. I’ve always seen the journey towards Christ as growing in a sort of “spiritual maturity”. We might have been born with our childish/self-centered attitudes, but as we grow closer to God, those fall away and are replaced with more Christ-like qualities.
What changes did you see in your life? In your attitudes? In your actions? What does Jesus Christ mean to you now?
Annnnnddd… that’s it! Say a prayer before you begin the process, jot down your ideas, and let the Spirit help you to craft your story.
One last point to note: Don’t feel pressured to make your faith story amazing or exciting or inspiring. Sure, it’s a good thing if it touches others, but that’s not the goal.
The most important function of a faith story is to serve as a testimony to God. So it doesn’t matter if it’s not exciting or filled with bright flashes of light – all that matters is that you offer up a story – your story – with a sincere and open heart, and trust that He will continue to write that story with you for the rest of your life.
Credit: Guidelines for creating your faith story were taken from thelife.com. Check out the link for more ideas on how to craft your faith story!