I’ve been almost exclusively in the company of strangers this week, surrounded by people whose story I know nothing about. It’s a terrifying yet liberating way to pass your time to listen to people’s life stories and hear about what is important to them and what they are passionate about. I not only love hearing what strangers tell me about themselves but even more, I love to watch the way their eyes light up or their hands move as they tell me about the people, places and purposes that are so important to them. Because we are strangers, details are so important to convey the true story of who they are and who they want me to know them to be. When you are talking to a stranger, you are free to write your own story, you are free to include the details that you want and leave out the pieces that aren’t true or that are maybe too true. You can create and shape yourself for the person in front of you based on the truth you believe about yourself, leaving some details and and taking some out, possibly even creating details we wished for.
So many times after their eyes would light up, they would usually include a “but” in their story; some piece of a broken or unachieved dream that they felt defined them. As I told my story and listened to others, I wondered how close to truth our visions of ourselves are, do we know ourselves well enough to be trusted to tell our own story?
I think that we often accept a version of ourselves that is not even close to the complete picture. We edit our own story based on someone else’s rules. We judge our victories and failures based on what we think we should be or what we think others wish that we were. That is why having people who truly know us and have walked through life with us are so valuable. They help us see things we don’t about ourselves, often other people will have more confidence in me than I do in myself.
Ephesians 1-2 is filled with Paul telling the Ephesians just who they are and how much they are loved. He goes on and on about how they are forgiven, they are blessed, they are saved and that they belong to God. He prays:
“that God would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:20
Paul continues in the chapter until he ends with:
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” vs 10
Be encouraged today, what Paul wrote about in Ephesians is true for you too. You ___________(fill in your name) are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you __________(fill in your name) to do.
That is your story, the one you should share with strangers and friends today.
Here is a great Jeremy Camp song that was written from the Ephesians passage above. The Same Power