My Story: an excerpt

WorshipHere is a bit from my upcoming book.
My 2nd nonfiction and my own testimonial,
which, maddeningly, I still haven’t settled on a title.
Nevertheless, it’s set to be released at the end of this month.
So, for now, enjoy!
~~~~~~

The greatest testimony we can give, the greatest gospel we can offer, is the example and narrative of our own lives. Our prayer should be that, within our testimony, those with whom we share our stories can feel a sense of empathy, a kinship, and maybe just an ounce of the same compassion Jesus felt time and time again. After all, He willingly gave His life to tell the greatest story of all.

 And, He came to graft our stories into His. Yes, we have a chapter in the greatest story ever told, if only we choose to tell it.

What about you?
Do you want to be included?

If so, then go and tell the gospel (Mark 16:15). Tell God’s story through your story. Tell the world that there is still value out there, within each of us, and that you see that value in them and, even more importantly, that God sees it too.

The stories are out there, just as they are within each of us, if only we will see them, hear them, and tell them. God has given each of us a story, like the parable Jesus told of the master who entrusted each of his servants with a certain amount of money, or “talents” (Mt. 25:14-30).

Do you remember that one?

The first two servants invested what they had been given; each returning to the master with double what he had been given. The master was pleased with what they had done, and happily invited them to share in his joy.

But the third servant buried what he had been given, returning only that amount when his master asked for an accounting.

Do you remember the master’s reaction? He called the servant a “wicked, lazy slave” and took everything he had, giving it all to another of the servants.

Why would he do that? And, what was Jesus’s point in telling this story?

I wonder if the answer lies in the third servant burying what he had been entrusted with. Or that, in order to bring gain to their master, the first two servants invested what they had been given, involving some small bit of risk I’m sure.

Think about it in terms of your own story. Are your life experiences only worth burying? Or is there some gain to be had in investing them in others, even if the telling may involve a small bit of risk?

And I wonder if there may not be another answer.

Look more closely at the third servant’s excuse for burying his portion: “I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground.”

He thought of the master as a hard man, and he was afraid, which begs the question: Do we see God as hardhearted?

Does our view of God keep us from telling our story? Burying it instead of investing and entrusting it to others so to speak? Are we afraid of God’s reaction to our story?

Or is our fear based in the risk that others might tell their stories? Is there a risk they might tell the wrong story, or if it’s one worth telling at all? Are we afraid of God’s reaction to their story?

Look again at the servant’s excuse and let me ask you this…

Does God reap where it appears He may not sow? Could He gather where it looks as though there is no seed scattered?

Is our fear that God is truly hardhearted? Or is it that He actually may not be?

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