A New Story
So we’ve talked about not being the star of your own story, we’ve talked about the stories we create for other people, and how they create stories about us. But what about the stories we believe about ourselves? Who do we think we are, anyway? Are we believing in what the world has taught us to believe about ourselves, or what God knows about us?
One of the most common mental illnesses in the world is a lack of self-esteem. Talk to anyone and you’re likely to be talking to someone who doesn’t really think of themselves as being intelligent, or beautiful, or talented, or anything special, really. There are those rare exceptions like Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang Theory or those over-indulged young women on some of those “reality” television shows, but for the most part, we’re all walking around not realizing what we’re actually capable of.
If it sounds like I’ve got this all figured out, think again. I’m only now starting to see this about myself and thought I’d share. We’ve all got these little voices following us around making sure that we don’t step out of our own mediocrity and live how God wants us to. The thing is, when we listen to those voices, eventually, we start to believe that this is really us talking and not some external source. Ephesians 6:12 tells us:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
I really believe that’s true. There are greater things are at work, warring for your soul than is good for us to know about. Suffice it to say, we are territory. Our souls, which were created by God are coveted by the enemy and the voice you choose to listen to about who you are, what you are capable of, and who you belong to is the most important choice you can make. It determines the outcome of the greatest war of human history, the war between good and evil.
Geez! that’s a lot of pressure to put on a person! True, but look at how easy God has made it for us to make the right choice. Choose His way and do amazing things in this war. Choose to listen to the external voices which tell you you’ll never do anything important or worthwhile and that’s exactly what will happen. Nothing.
Its all about the life story we create for ourselves. If we accept the horrors that our pasts can sometimes be or even the horrors of our present situation. If we believe that all we’ll ever be is a victim, an alcoholic, an addict, an abuser, stupid, ugly, worthless, whatever it is that the enemy has whispered in your ear to keep you down, then God loses.
But if we write a new story and throw in a few great plot twists, then amazing things really do happen! I know a lady whose family is full of over-achievers. Her brothers, sisters, cousins, etc. are all doctors and professors and lawyers. She’s a teacher too. In fact, she managed to get her Bachelors degree and her teaching credential in under four years and also be a leading member of her sorority. So what did she do with this auspicious achievement? She’s the youth pastor for a small church in a small town.
She recently had to travel back east to attend a family reunion where she was given a quadruple dose of her families’ disapproval at her career choice. “You could teach at Sarah Lawrence!” “You could work for this or that prep school!” The litany is endless and to top it all off, she’s marrying the pastor of her small church! Oh, the horror!
But this wonderful young woman will have more impact on the world and on the lives of people than her entire family, with all their degrees and prestigious careers ever will. And she knows it.
There’s also the young man with ADHD that survived an abusive father and his parent’s cruel divorce, dropped out of high school, tried to check out by using drugs and ended up selling drugs to make a living. It’s a story that is obscenely common in our country. But this young man decided to stop listening to the constant voices telling him that this was all there was for him and he went in search of a new voice. He found it at that same small church and now he is drug free and quickly becoming a powerful man of God as he serves in his church, working with young people and learning how to be a sound engineer.
These aren’t stories written by a Hollywood script writer, but they could be. And there are still days that these two people get up and doubt their resolve and their goals, but they know what to do when that happens. Shut up those voices and listen to the voice of the One who made them for this exact purpose as he lays out their story, one page at a time.
What is your story? Whats keeping you from rewriting it?