It is transformed character that enables ordinary, tongue-tied Christians to become God’s storytellers-people who share the good news of Jesus. The transformed character of Christian men and women is the key to world evangelization.
Each of us has a story – what I call a ‘story with a small s’, the story of our own lives. At some point in our journey through life, our story collides with the Story of God – the Story with a large S. God’s Story calls our story into question. WE must make a choice: either to reject the Story of God or to merge our story with His Story.
In John 9, we have just such a collection of stories. Jesus and His disciples encounter a man who has been blind since birth, and Jesus heals this man. The man has no idea who has healed him.
When the Pharisees ask him how he was healed he replies “The man they call Jesus” did it. But the Pharisees are not satisfied. They demand to know more. So, what does the man do?
He tells his story!
He tells it simply, without adornment. He doesn’t know theology and hasn’t been to seminary. He just tells what “the man they call Jesus” has done for him.
When the Pharisees demand that he explain how Jesus healed him he replies, “I only know one thing. I was blind, but now I see!”
That is his story. And this story produces a vision in this man’s life. Later, when Jesus again encounters this man, Jesus asks him “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
“Who is he, sir?” the man says in response. “Tell me so that I may believe in him”.
“I am He”, says Jesus.
And the man believes. His eyes are truly opened – not just his physical eyes but his spiritual eyes as well -so that he can see Jesus clearly. His story (“the man they call Jesus has healed me”) has produced a vision (“Jesus is the Savior, the Son of Man”) and that vision has transformed his character (“I believe!”). Now, he is a storyteller.
The Story produces a Vision, which then transforms Character, resulting in evangelism.
How about you? Where are you in this process?
Has your story intersected with God’s Story yet?
If so, has your vision of God, yourself, and the world begun to change?
Are you seeing your character transformed?
Why not ask God, “God, I want my story to be aligned with yours. I want to see things the way you see them. And I want to have a new character as a result. And I long to see you use me to begin this process in others!”
Adapted from The Power of Story (Leighton Ford, 2015)