Let him who boasts and glories boast and glory in the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 10:17 (AMP)
Have you ever told a story you perceive to be captivating, but your audience seems to stop listening before you get to the end? Or, even worse, have you ever been flat out asked “What’s your point?”
While my husband is generally a good listener, he will, more often than he should, unconsciously start to fidget when he’s starting to lose interest. It’s become my clue to speed things up a bit.
Being married for more than two decades you’d think I’d be better at trimming down my stories, but I’m not. I love to process my thoughts out loud with him. He, on the other hand, prefers what he calls the “Reader’s Digest version.”
Paul, in Second Corinthians, is great at getting to the point. He succinctly tells us that when we boast, we are to boast in the Lord (2 Cor. 10:17). Simple and straightforward.
But how can a person who loves to talk, boast in the Lord’s abundant goodness precisely and “get to the point” quickly?
That’s tricky! I thought about all the women in my Bible Study who love to talk and share their faith stories. Many truly have the “gift of gab” when it comes to talking about Jesus. I imagined their friends, husbands, or children listening for a while but eventually losing interest.
So, with God’s help, I came up with this simple outline to help us share our stories interestingly, but concisely enough that others will stick with us to the end. Are you ready? Let’s give it a try!
Be Bold & Boast in the Lord
Person – Who is the story about?
Place – Where does the story take place?
Thing – What was the reason for needing God?
Only God – How did He come through?
Here’s an example:
(Person) Michele, a single mom of two young children was in graduate school.
(Place) She was at the University of Maryland studying to become a social worker, working in the Admissions Office to make ends meet.
(Thing) Michele received a notice from her apartment complex stating that her rent was going to increase in two months. As she dropped the letter on the kitchen counter she hung her head in prayer. She told God that there was no way she could afford this rent increase. Even now, at the end of most months, her kids sometimes ate beans and rice and she went to bed hungry.
(Only God) A week later while at work, a young woman named Brenda came to Michelle in the Admissions Office, distraught over having to withdraw from school and break her lease with Student & Family Housing. Her fiancée was in the military and had just been transferred. Michele’s heart leapt. She’d been on the waitlist for on-campus housing for almost a year now. This was a perfect solution for both of them. As she walked with Brenda into the Dean’s Office, she looked up to God and whispered “Thank you.” Twenty minutes later, Michele was signing papers to move into Brenda’s apartment, which rented for half of what she had been paying in her old apartment – even before the increase.
Yeah God! Michele’s story points to God’s faithfulness to provide and His goodness to take care of His children. Our personal stories about how only God could have done what He did, are so important to share. They glorify God, encourage others, and grow our faith.
By voicing how God has shown up in our lives, we are sharing real and believable stories of His presence and power. This is a very effective way to spread His message.
Now it’s your turn.
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