I woke up earlier than usual this morning with a message stirring in my heart. I was on my way out of the door when the smell of bacon entangled my feet. My wife surprised me with a birthday breakfast at 4:20 am. What a wife I have!
As I sliced the sun in my eggs, I thought about some of my weekend reading. Storytelling is a mandatory skill of writers, artists, photographers, pastors and anyone else with a voice. I'm still learning to tell stories for the single purpose of helping people sent to me by God.
Pastors are often called upon to answer the question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" I try to tell stories to build a bridge back to the place of answers—the Cross. Jesus is the answer to questions that man cannot answer with even well-crafted stories.
Why do bad things happen to good leaders? Check in at the cross for answers. Man's answer to "Why?" cannot satisfy.
Teachers of storytelling suggest that we tell stories about our struggle to do good.
Here's a story. A shelf in my pantry is loaded with Girl Scout Cookies. I opened the door of the pantry to find a health bar. The row of cookie boxes stood guard.
The eyes of my stomach popped out like the Venus' flytrap in the Little Shop of Horrors. I want a whole box of cookies! I need a health bar. "We need to eat these cookies before they become stale," I rationalized. My thought bubble flashed an image of the bathroom scale. The struggle is real.
Along the path of doing good for others, there exists a clear and present temptation to make a bad choice. The fact that good people make bad choices, say hurtful things or fail in any number of ways should not surprise us.
I'm told the essence of storytelling is man's struggle over evil.
Man makes progress.
Man messes up.
Man faces consequences.
Grace enters in.
Man is forgiven.
Man makes progress.
I love nonfiction stories.
"He went a little farther, and falling on His face, He prayed, 'O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will'" (Matt. 26:39).
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, released July 2017.
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