Who are you? What is your story?
What was your family like? How did you grow up? What did you learn from those around you? What did those in authority teach you about life? What are the formative events and circumstances that shaped your values, attitudes and behavior?
Do you like your story? Or would you want to edit it a bit? Or would you rather rewrite your whole story if you could?
Our stories are complicated. They involve facts—what happened when, where, and with whom. They involve questions—how did certain things happen and why. And all this over time forms our view of life, our values, our habits, and our behaviors: what people often call our “truth.”
The problem is, often our truth isn’t all that true. We experience brokenness in our families and accept it as the normal way all families behave. Someone in authority hurts us and we start to fear all authority. We get under stress, start self-medicating, and decide that’s the only way to deal with pain.
John’s letter to Gaius (3 John) invites us to examine whether we are “walking in the truth,” whether our stories truly tell us who we are and what the world is like. Whether our stories give us hope or just drag us down.
John also invites us to explore God’s story; the one where God created each one of us: in love, on purpose, for a purpose, and very good! The one where he gave up his life to rescue us from broken, dead-ended stories. The one where he offers us stories filled with life, hope, joy, and peace. This is what it means to “walk in the truth:” to live in God’s better story.
Questions for reflection:
- When you think about your story, what brings you joy and peace? What brings you sadness and pain? What parts of your story might have formed you in ways that are not life-giving to you or others? Where does your “truth” need rethinking?
- If you lived in God’s story, that would your life look like? What steps could you take right now to more fully walk in the truth of God’s better story?
Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 33-36