A Good Story

By Kelly Borjas:

I love a good story, so much that I write fiction as a hobby (my own story world with characters in crisis, opposing goals, redemption, and of course a romance). This week I was confronted with the negative power words can bring; FOUR times in two days!  These experiences reminded me how important it is to be mindful of what I say. Obviously, God’s teaching me a lesson! However, by Wednesday, my Bible reading plan took me to Revelation 12:11, “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”

The blood of the Lamb overcame Satan, sin and death. This is so powerful, especially after we studied in Element University how God’s plan includes the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22: without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins). Jesus shed His blood, and that work overcomes Satan! This may be my new favorite verse in the Bible; it’s the ultimate conclusion to the problem of sin. But why is a testimony important? A testimony (a good story) is sharing the gospel, the good news that proclaims Jesus to the world.

Thinking about these verses has made me consider how powerful our individual stories are. Each of us has a different story, and when we have a life-changing personal encounter with Jesus, it cannot be refuted. God uses us and our stories—our changed lives—to showcase His plan and work. This can be the moment we believe in Jesus, or small moments throughout our lives. In fact, at our women’s Bible study this week, various women shared how God has spoken to them; I sat both encouraged and in awe at how majestic God is.

As we’ve studied Acts, we see how Paul engages with the culture. It begs the question: what’s our current culture? Arguably, our culture responds well to stories. Movies, shows, books, and even commercials contain some element of storytelling. Stories paint a picture—of what was and what can or will be. A character is changed throughout the course of a story. We are relational human beings, and the power of stories resonates with us. In our current combative culture, building relationships and authentically sharing the change in our lives oftentimes has more of an impact than mere words or arguments (think of the diatribes on social media, or the protestor holding signs on a street corner. They typically turn people away, as opposed to towards their goals). As Christians, the true power of our story comes at the point where Jesus intervenes in our lives. Where He rescues us. Without redemption, a story falls flat and leaves us hopeless.

We are called to have an answer for the hope we have in us (1 Peter 3:15). At their worst, words hurt and divide. However, at their best, words express the most beautiful of stories; the most important topic on which we ever communicate. Whether written or verbal, I am reminded of the power of our stories and testimonies and how words can be a tool to paint the picture of redemption—the moment Jesus saved us, and the moments throughout our lives where we see Him work. As we build relationships with those in our community—friends, coworkers, neighbors—our story is a reminder to know where Jesus has changed our lives and to be able to express that to others.


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