One of my absolute favorite hobbies is talking with people. I love it. Specifically, I love talking with strangers. Why? Because everyone, every person, has a story. And I just want to hear it.
If I meet someone, without even thinking, I almost immediately begin asking them questions. Like, what’s their hometown? And what they do for a job. And how they got to where they are now.
And I do this pretty much everywhere I go.
In coffee shops.
As I’m checking out at Target.
While I’m pumping gas.
But one of my favorite places to talk with people is from my front porch.
My wife and I have an old house with a big front porch, and the sidewalk in front of our house has a fairly steady stream of people. It’s like a highway of people walking. And so whenever I get bored, I’ll just go out there and I’ll start saying hello to pretty much anyone.
And if someone stops I’ll just start asking them questions. Question after question just to hear their story.
Question for you: What’s your story?
Maybe when you think about your story, you think about your hometown and which state you’re from.
Or you mention your parents and who they are or were.
Maybe you talk about your race or your culture.
Or maybe you think about which college you went to or talk about your job.
You could mention your relationship status, your kids, your spouse, your significant other.
On the flip side, maybe you mention a trial that you went through or your parents went through.
Being picked on as a kid.
A broken home.
Maybe it’s a struggle, like depression.
No matter how you define your story, every one of us has one. Each of us has a story.
And hear this: God knows our story. And He knows it all.
God knows our story inside and out.
The good parts, and the bad.
The parts that we’re embarrassed about.
The most tender and sensitive parts.
Jesus knows our story, and yet He still approaches us.
And He still loves us.
But even better than God knowing our story? Hear this: God’s story changes our story.
On our own, we have our own life and our own story. But when we meet Jesus, His story changes ours.
From that moment on we are no longer the same. Instead of our story being based on our past, our mistakes, our career or our relationships, our story is now based on Jesus.
Again, God’s story changes our story.
What’s next: Share your story
Once we know our own story, God can use that story to change someone else’s. God can use us, He can use you and me, He can use our story, to change someone else’s story.
But we have to share it.
I know for myself this is so much easier said than done. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to sharing my story, specifically the God part of my story, I have so many thoughts and questions and barriers that keep me from doing so.
Particularly as a newer Christian, I wanted to share my story, but I rarely ever did. Why?
Because what will people think of me?
I don’t want to look stupid.
And what if people think I’m weird?
And I don’t want this friendship to feel strange.
And who am I to even mention God? I probably need a seminary degree, right? And I need to be perfect and I’m clearly not, I’m broken.
I think so often we try and make sharing our story really complicated when we just need to share from the heart.
If you share your story and you sound like a know-it-all and like you’re trying to win an argument, nothing will change. But if you share your story with humility and kindness, God will move in powerful ways.
Who needs to hear your story today? Or better yet, who needs to hear God’s story through yours?
My challenge to you? Simply tell one person your story.
That one person might be your best friend that you’ve talked about everything with, except the impact Jesus has made on your life.
It might be be your mom.
It might be your favorite co-worker.
It might be the guy you work out with every morning at the gym.
Just share your story, and then watch God move.
“The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone about Jesus. Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman said, ‘He told me everything I ever did!’” – John 4:28, 39
This article originally appeared here.