Life boils down to the stories we tell. The stories we tell ourselves are most important. Because any story we tell consistently becomes a belief. And our beliefs then translate into what we do. So if what we are doing today is not what we want to be doing today, it is time to change the story.
The stories we tell ourselves are born out of our experiences in the past and the things we were consciously or unconsciously taught as kids. Many of those stories were never intended to be picked up. Nobody intended to teach us these things. But we picked them up anyway.
Today is the day to take stock of those stories. If we don’t become conscious of the stories we tell ourselves now, we will be ineffective in changing them. A roadmap does us no good if we don’t know where on the map we are.
So take a moment. Let us check the stories we are telling ourselves. We know it’s wrong to gossip about others. It is also wrong to tell ourselves bad stories about ourselves. So are the stories we tell ourself true? Are they noble? What about right? And pure? And lovely? Or admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy? Do the stories we tell ourselves qualify according to that test?
It is time to tell ourselves stories that lift us up. I don’t mean one that denies the sin we need to deal with. Nor the one that makes us seem perfect. It needs to be honest. But it must be uplifting. Yeah, we do have some weaknesses, we all do, but we are also loved. Sure, we need more practice in our crafts, but we are worth the effort.
Let’s tell an honest but encouraging story about ourself. One that our Heavenly Father would tell. Or rather one He already tells. I have sinned, but I am worth redeeming. I may not experience the blessings I should, but they are intended for me. I made one mistake after another, but God wants to make beautiful things out of those ashes.
Let’s learn to tell ourselves praiseworthy stories. Then we’ll start telling such stories to others. And we’ll encourage them to be more of what God created them to be. We’ll be honest with them, but still be loving and gracious.
We need to quit confronting our own weaknesses with judgement. Instead, let’s confront ourselves with grace, for the purposes of exposing ourselves to God so He can put His nature in us. It will change how we confront others. It will no longer be a story that focuses on the weakness. It will instead be a story that focuses on the grace to overcome that weakness.
Sometimes others tell us stories that lack grace. Stories that are not very lovely. We shouldn’t take them too seriously. Of course, we can learn from what they say, that would be noble. But internalizing them as truth is neither pure nor admirable. They are often more a reflection of the grace they still deny themselves, than they are true.
So even in those cases, we need to tell them stories that are filled with grace and truth. Stories that are right, lovely and excellent. They need to hear those stories. Beauty overcomes ugly. Truth overcomes lies. Excellence overcomes shoddy. And praise overcomes criticism.
When our story becomes more gracious, it is easier to have faith. Faith that God meant it when He says we are worth redemption. Faith that He intends blessing in our future. Faith that can believe that ultimately it is His deep desire that we become blessed people.
And honestly, when we believe that the only reason God asks us to deal with our sins and weaknesses and mess-ups is so we can live out the purposes He intended for us, It is easier to confront those sins and weaknesses. It puts grace in our stories. Let’s tell noble, excellent and praiseworthy stories.