I want you to think about the last “great” movie you watched. Was it late at night after you put the children to bed, just you and your spouse curled up under a blanket watching the TV?
Was your last great movie before COVID, sitting in a movie theater with a bucket of popcorn and a big soft drink as you were drawn into an epic story?
Or did you stream the movie over your phone, listening through earphones, when you were last drawn into a tiny screen in a big way!
There’s a difference between an ordinary movie that just entertains you for a couple of hours and a great movie! A great movie draws you into the storyline. A great movie stays with you for days or months after you’ve watched the end credits. The greatest movies help you see yourself in the story as the plot unfolds.
There’s an epic story in every great movie. There’s an epic story in every novel that you can’t put down. And there’s an epic story in the lyrics of the song that stays with you all day long. All people are highly influenced by stories. The greatest stories stick with us for a lifetime, and the truly epic stories inspire us to change.
Today’s article is about YOUR epic story. Everyone has a story. Some people don’t sense the value of their own stories. Therefore, they don’t tell them very often.
I’m going to try to convince you that your story is epic and deserves to be shared!
Own your story
Epic is the word that we use to describe the movies that have the biggest impact on us. Epic stories are not always the blockbuster movies that make a lot of money. Rather, they are the movies that leave a lasting impact.
Your life story doesn’t have to become a major motion picture to be epic. Take it from a guy that was portrayed on the big screen in the movie Black Hawk Down; your story doesn’t have become a major motion picture to be epic.
There’s nothing special about my story from Somalia, except that a movie studio decided to turn it into a movie. If that studio made a movie of your life, it would be every bit as spectacular!
Don’t try to live someone else’s story. I’ve met many people who longed to have a different story after listening to somebody recount the spectacular circumstances of their life. Don’t give in to story envy. Your story is epic even if the circumstances of your life don’t seem so spectacular. It is spectacular because it’s special.
There are almost 8 billion people in the world, yet not one of them has the exact circumstances of your life story. You story is special because it’s yours!
The Hopi tribe of Native Americans say, “Those who tell stories rule the world.” They believe that stories unite humanity; they are one of our common bonds. Therefore, knowing your story is essential to being human. Like warriors gathered around the campfire, recounting past battles, telling your story today is your way of taking your place at the great council fire of humanity.
Don’t hide the negative parts your story either. They are what make your story personal and believable. No one likes to hear from the person whose life is always perfect, and nothing ever goes wrong, because you and I all know that’s not accurate. We know we’re only getting one side of the story.
It takes a lot of courage to admit your faults to others, but it’s a common part of the human experience. That’s why I went way outside of my comfort zone when I wrote the article Confessions of a Hypocrite.
Explain God’s Role
Now let me advance this idea one step forward. If you have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, you have a very powerful Christian testimony! I feel this strong desire to help Christians understand and explain God’s role in their story.
According to Romans 3:23, all people have a sinful past or are presently living in sin. When Christians focus too much on past sin, it minimizes the power of Jesus’s death and resurrection to cleanse us from that sin. An epic Christian testimony describes the power of the gospel to radically alter someone’s future. That story never gets old, no matter how many times it gets told!
I want to challenge you to talk about Jesus early and often in your story. If Jesus Christ has done a miraculous work inside your soul and radically changed you, that story deserves to be told. People want to know if their life can change in the same way that yours has changed.
That’s why I recommend that Christian’s rush to the part where Jesus changed their life when sharing their Christian story. This is the essence of an epic Christian testimony. I think about it like a 100-meter sprint when sharing my story. I want to get to Jesus’s role as quickly as possible, and I want people to believe that Jesus can also do for them what he did for me. Make it your goal to help others see themselves in your story.
Tell your story
Now that you’ve spent some time thinking about your story, it’s time to share it. Now that you realize it is epic, it’s time to tell your story others! What good is having a story if you don’t tell it? Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Did you know that the Bible even tells Christians to be quick to share their epic story in 1 Peter 3:15 [always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence]?
I like to think about it as giving your story away. Give your story generously and freely, according to the Apostle Peter.
Maybe you’re still a little unsure how to craft your story. If you want a little practical advice on sharing it, here’s an article I wrote about how to make Jesus the real hero of your story. If you want to help preparing your Christian story from scratch, there’s a lesson we developed to help you in our free digital discipleship course we call Basic Training. Check out lesson #3 about “Explaining the Good News”.