Have you ever been having a casual conversation with someone, when suddenly the topic shifts over to a personal circumstance they are struggling with that you have already walked through, but never told anyone about?
In that moment you have to make a split second decision: Do you share your story….or do you keep silent, providing a sympathetic nod, while hoping that person will simply move onto another subject?
There are 3 Dangers to consider when sharing your story:
- You become invincible.
- You may save a life.
- You will fall more in love with Jesus
Now, if you are wrinkling your forehead in confusion wondering how those 3 items can be considered “dangerous,” I’ll let you in on a little secret….your story, when shared with others, is one of the most dangerous weapons you have against the lion that prowls around looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
An article on ChristianityToday.com in 2017 asked 1000 Americans three questions to discover their feelings about fear, shame, guilt, and other issues. The result of the survey was this: 38% said they avoid shame the most, while 31% said guilt and 30% said fear.”
Thinking about publicly sharing the story of your journey through any sort of brokenness can elicit all three of those emotions. Fear about what others might think of you; shame at some of the things you did; and guilt around the people you hurt or the consequences that happened because of your choices.
Keeping your story locked up deep inside you as a bad memory and former life you want nothing to do with is certainly one way to move on from that painful experience. But it’s also the perfect recipe for the Adversary to hold you hostage to your past anytime he feels like it.
Let’s go back to that split-second decision….
….Did you ever consider that one of the ways the Lord had always planned to bring beauty out of the ashes of your past (Isaiah 61:1-3) was to use your story as a redemptive opportunity to help others in their present situation?
Your story is DANGEROUS TO THE ENEMY for all 3 reasons I mentioned:
1) You become invincible
You know that saying, “Only a fool would underestimate a man with nothing to lose” ? It is more than true…it’s powerful. There’s a deep peace that settles inside you – which becomes stronger than anything that can happen around you – when you experience the freedom of letting go of your past through sharing your story.
In a sense, you really do become invincible because no one (especially the devil) can twist the information to use it against you once it’s you’ve shared it publicly the way you experienced it.
The same thing happens in the political arena all the time whenever a negative story is about to break wide open. The person at the center of the story can either remain silent and wait for the public backlash, or they can rush to the media to tell their version of the story first in an attempt to control how it’s perceived.
Being Invincible certainly does not prohibit some consequences of sharing your story. What it does, though, is provide a solid foundation of self-worth and inner confidence as you “face the music” of those who might not understand and choose to treat you differently because of your choice to share your story.
As sons and daughters of Christ, we have to remember that the Lord did not put us on this earth to simply live a quiet 70+ years and then off to heaven we go. He has a purpose for each of us, and sharing our stories is part of that purpose (1 Peter 3:15).
2) You save lives
“I’m fine.” How many times have you heard that response from others only to find out later that those very same people have been experiencing life altering challenges; keeping everything quiet because they are barely holding it together and afraid of what will happen if they let someone into their extremely difficult situation.
What those people need are assurances that they are not alone, and that the God of the Impossible has the power to step in and turn everything around for our good (Romans 8:28). I know…because the Lord sent me on a “Crazy” 12K+ mile Adventure across the U.S. to share my story in order to bring hope and provide encouragement to hundreds of people currently walking out a variety of incredibly difficult situations in their own lives.
As I traveled from state to state, I recognized the Lord had not coordinated that “Crazy” Adventure just for me, but rather as an incredible testimony of HIS faithfulness and desire to take care of all His kids because of how much He loves us.
A recent article on CNN.com shows a very concerning statistic: “The suicide rate in the United States continues to climb, with a rate in 2017 that was 33% higher than in 1999.”
It’s the second leading cause of death for those 15 – 24 years-old. Often that is because they get stuck in a mindset of hopelessness, feeling trapped in a cycle of emotional pain, causing them to withdraw which increases loneliness and exacerbates the hopelessness/trapped feelings. After a while, stopping the pain any way they can causes suicide to become a viable option.
YOUR STORY might just be the light the Lord has chosen to help them find their way back out of that very dark place to potentially save their life.
3) You fall more in love with Jesus
This is the most interesting by product of sharing your story. With each re-telling to the next person the Lord brings your way who needs to hear it, you step into a sacred place of thankfulness which becomes a tangible awareness of His love for you, which leads to a deeper place of intimacy with Him. Just like human relationships (marriage or friendship), intimacy builds trust which then activates more faith in the other person, which breeds more love resulting in more intimacy thus naturally experiencing more love….repeat!
Deeper love and intimacy with the Lord means your identity is no longer focused on “you.” It is now focused on Jesus flowing through you. That shift means that every need you have is met in Him, freeing you to join the Lord anywhere He leads, helping anyone He brings to you, in any way He asks of you….without concern for the outcome or the consequences.
HE WILL TAKE CARE OF THE OUTCOME because of your willingness to step out in faith to partner with Him (Isaiah 46:4).
Here’s an easy and no-obligation way to begin that leap of faith to (consider) sharing your story:
Take This 2-minute survey (watch the video then click the green button). You can even submit it anonymously if need be.
After you take the survey, check out the impact others have experienced from telling their stories.
Are you willing to become “Dangerous” by allowing the Lord to use your story to make a difference in the life of one of His other kids?
Take the survey, and then contact me at Kris @ BeginToShift .com to learn how to begin your story-telling process.
Christianity Today: “Shame, Guilt, and Fear: What 1,000 Americans Avoid Most“