By day, I write other people’s stories. I consult with startups, small businesses, and enterprise companies about what problem they’re solving in the world, and I help them tell a story that other people can see themselves in — because when people can see themselves in your story, they’re more invested in you.
This is what Jesus sent his followers out in the world to do – to tell the story of how God rescues us, so that no matter what we’ve done to ourselves or others, we can see ourselves in God’s rescue plan.
But sometimes I forget to tell myself this story.
Not too long ago I spent a few days wallowing (shocking!) about what a rotten person I am. I definitely said and did some things that were legitimately rotten, but I soon discovered I was also believing a very dangerous lie.
I believed I would always be rotten, that there was no point trying to NOT be rotten, so I moped and grouched about and snapped at everyone because OBVIOUSLY I’M A ROTTEN PERSON.
Then one night as I as wrote in my journal about the stinking decay of my rottenness, I started to gross myself out with all the whining.
So I opened my Bible (finally!).
I went straight for Romans 3:23 –
…”for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…”
As a lifelong follower of Jesus, it’s easy for me to let his words fade into just… words. Even though I was tiring of my own despair, I still wasn’t able to see myself in God’s rescue story.
But God’s word is living and active, not stale and obsolete. If I couldn’t see myself in God’s story, I needed to re-tell it so I could:
I made it to this version in three drafts, and the exercise pulled me out of the dark hole I was in.
This experience not only helped me, but it reminded me of how easy it is for Christians to alienate other people with our jargon and pat answers.
Oh, you did that really shitty thing? No worries! You’re justified in Christ!
Yes, it’s Truth, but if it’s so easy to disconnect ourselves from the Truth of the story, how much easier is it for those who don’t even know the story?
I’ve been struggling to find my way back into journaling. Maybe the best thing I can do is practice re-telling the story of God’s rescue plan to myself, my kids, and my friends.