I was listening to a podcast recently where the host said “The world needs more storytellers, not more cheerleaders.” I’ve been thinking a lot about that statement lately. What does it mean to be a storyteller instead of a cheerleader? Should we be both?
I’ve looked around and seen my friends doing brave things. I’m quick to cheer them on when they’re walking through something I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing myself. Staying on the sidelines and being a supportive sidekick has felt like a comfortable place to be.
But what I’ve realized is we are quick to cheer people on to bravery, to hard things we wouldn’t do ourselves. This doesn’t mean quit cheering on your people, instead know that your story is worth being told too. It’s easier to sit on the sidelines, but God isn’t calling us to be complacent there.
None of us want to step off the ledge in faith, hoping that God really is who He says is and that we’ll be caught before it’s too late. What I’ve been hearing lately from God is that He’s already caught me before I’ve jumped off the ledge.
I’ve heard that a million times, but I haven’t ever processed it or wanted to trust that. I desperately cling to control.
Sometimes it takes a little longer for me to realize He’s with me. It looks like I’m about to hit the bottom of the valley before I see what He’s doing. It’s easy to doubt that He’s going to be around to catch me. People fail us every day, so it is in our DNA to believe that people will not be there for the scary, hard things. People will make mistakes and promises they can’t keep.
But God isn’t one of us. He hasn’t and never will sin; He provided the ultimate sacrifice when we didn’t deserve it. I can’t compartmentalize God into a box and put Him in a mold that He won’t fit in. God can’t be compartmentalized, or at least He shouldn’t be.
For most of my life, I considered God just one compartment of my very complex world. School, soccer, social life, family, etc. all had their own bins. It took almost 19 years for me to realize that God doesn’t want just one section of your life, He wants to infiltrate every single part of you and your story.
Recently, I was reading in Mark and Jesus was telling the disciples how you cannot pour new wine into old wineskins. They will burst if that happens. Rather, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.
Seems like a simple concept, but how many times have I learned the same lesson over and over because I would rather stick to following my way instead of God’s way?
And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins. – Mark 2:22
I pour old habits into the new creation God has made in me, but that doesn’t work. Turning from my sin looks like striving for new, better, God honoring habits and pouring those into the new you.
Maybe that’s not where you are. Maybe you have been walking through some really hard, brave things. But have you kept your story to yourself, when God is nudging you to share?
I’m not saying the answer is posting on social media whatever it is that you’ve been making a move in. (But that could be one good way to tell your story!) I’m saying that maybe God is asking you to tell just one person what you have been boldly battling.
Think about how many moments you’ve seen a touching story about the Lord’s faithfulness on Facebook or heard someone speak at church about the season they’ve currently been in. It’s challenged you to think about your own life. How have you been affected by someone else’s story? How could you affect or encourage someone with your own story?
We’ve got to be brave enough to love people really well. And part of that bravery may be allowing yourself to showcase vulnerability through telling your story.
The Lord gave every single person a story. Do not spend your life in the shadows when God is calling you to use your voice. Be bold knowing you may get rejected, but in the end God’s faithfulness remains.
Mark 2 is the story of the paralyzed man. His friends are desperate to get him in to see Jesus. They go to extreme lengths to get him within proximity to Jesus. This man was outwardly paralyzed, but some of us are inwardly paralyzed whether it’s by anxiety, shame, regret, fear, etc.
Today Jesus is calling you to get up and walk. Whether it’s baby steps or a full on sprint, get up and make a move. Give more than you have and see what comes from it. Don’t be afraid to cast your net out into deep waters.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” – Luke 5:4-5
Your words are not a neutral move; they are a power move. Use your words to create something powerful. Slow down long enough and see the people around you. When we slow down, we are able to see people. We are able to see opportunities.
Share your story today and see what happens.