Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Giving Advice < Telling Your Story

I had the opportunity to speak to a group of volunteers the other night.  I had all kinds of things I wanted to tell them in 20 minutes.  All good things like:
  • Your "hard" kids are not problems to be solved, they are people to be loved.
  • You gotta be consistent--not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.
  • YOU are responsible for leading you--figure out the best way to get fed.
None of that is original or rocket science.  And it's all stuff we know, but need to be reminded of. 

And I felt like I was connecting to some of them. 

Then I closed with a small part of my story.

And a few cried (including myself). 

And, I had this overwhelming feeling of regret. 

Not because I told my story...but, because I talked AT them for so long before just being authentic and sharing the real stuff. 

It was a perfect picture for me of what God has been teaching me: every person's story matters--even mine.  Even if nobody reads it or comments on it.  Even if we never hear of any life change that happens to others. 

But here's the cool thing: Our stories DO change others. Not because of us, but because God works through our imperfections and redeems our "stuff" to draw people to Him. 

As a pastor, I often feel like people want advice.  And they may think that's what they want, but I think they benefit more from us being authentic and sharing our heart. 

Isn't that the case in all of life?

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