This past Sunday, we taught about discovering who you are in Youth Group. As we discover who God made us, we begin to discover God, and we begin to step in rhythm to this overarching story. We read about the story of the “women at the well” from John 4. The women did not want others to know her story, and she hid behind several figurative masks. When Jesus came along, though, He looked right past those masks and walls, and He cared for her. So, the question is if you are allowing others to know your story.
I recently read some thoughts from two different people who were talking about a very similar idea. One comes from Tim Walker, who wrote our “Parents’ Devotional” for this week. The other comes from Brad Abare, who writes for the “Church Marketing Sucks” blog. Each of them approach this idea from a different view, and I like them both.
On one hand, we need to get to know others’ stories. We cannot keep labeling people based on the little we know about them. I am guilty of this just as much as the next person. As Tim writes, “So many times I’m content to read the Cliff’s Notes version of those around us, size them up, then move on. But Jesus stopped and jumped into people’s stories.” In our busy lives, we need to make sure and take time to really get to know those around us. As Christ-followers who believe we are all part of a bigger story, we cannot be ok with simply knowing the Cliff Notes.
On the other hand, we need to put ourselves in places where we can share our stories. As 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” However, when was the last time that someone asked you and I to share that information? Brad states, “I’m convinced that the more you and I (and the people in our churches) are asked about the hope we have within, the better we’ll be able to communicate to our communities.” So, we need to make sure we get out there and interact with people who, in turn, want to know our stories. We need to give them a reason to ask, and we need to be ready to state the reasons we have our hope.
So, are you asking others about their story, and are you actively sharing yours? Join me in getting out there and figuring out where we all stand in this giant awesome story!