One Key Element in Telling a Great Story

by Sally Matheny

Tell a Great Story
At the end of each day, we all have stories to tell. The neighbor’s kid vomited on the front porch. The boss ranted for an hour at work. The doctor called with good news!

Most people are eager to share what’s going on in their lives. I want to encourage you to include a crucial ingredient when you tell your stories. This element will turn your good story into a great one.

How many of you have seen the movie, War Room? There’s a scene where a man points a knife at two women. One is an elderly woman, named Ms. Clara. The man demands they hand over their money. The younger woman is frightened and says, “Okay, okay, just put down the knife,” and she begins to fish around her purse for her wallet. The man disregards her words and his knife is still a threat. Then, Ms. Clara, firmly states, “No. We will not. And I demand, in the name of Jesus Christ, you put down that knife.” The startled man gives her a strange look, but he drops the knife.

A few minutes later, the police are writing down an account of what happened. An officer asks Ms. Clara, “Now, let me get this straight, you said, ‘in the name of Jesus Christ, put down that knife,’ and he did?”

Ms. Clara confirms the statement and adds, “Make sure you put what I said about Jesus in there because too many people leave the Jesus part out.”
I loved that! It’s true, isn’t it? We talk all about the things going on in our lives—happy and sad, funny and scary, good and bad. But how often do we leave Jesus out of the story?

So what is your story? Who should you tell it to and why?

Your story can be about your best, worst, or most embarrassing moments.  It can be about the extraordinary and the ordinary days. You don’t have to have a spectacular parting of the Red Sea event before you can share your stories.
People easily relate to ordinary things. The key is to reflect on ordinary life under God’s extraordinary Light. God wants to use your stories to draw others to Him.

One key element in telling a great story is to reflect
on ordinary life under God's extraordinary Light.
What has brought you to your knees? What has brought you joy? What have you learned through your wise and not-so-wise decisions?

Some of our life experiences are still too fresh, too painful, and maybe too embarrassing to share with others. That’s okay. Allow God to comfort and heal you. Then allow God to wring some good out of those storms. Part of your healing comes when you take what you’ve learned and focus your attention on helping someone else who is going through a similar storm.

Have you witnessed a miracle? Or maybe you’ve heard about one.
I remember my husband’s grandmother, Maw Maw Hazel, telling me about a time long ago when there was a severe drought in the area. It was a time when farmers depended on their crops to put food on their tables. She said her preacher told the congregation to come to the church for a special prayer service. They were going to pray for rain. 

The pastor met everyone at the door with an umbrella tucked under his arm. He asked each person, “Where’s your umbrella?”

That’s the kind of faith he had. They prayed. And it rained! I’m so glad Maw Maw Hazel shared that story with me. She’s in heaven now, but her story has now become my story.

Deuteronomy 4: 9 says, “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”

God tells us not to forget to tell others about what we’ve seen Him do in our lives. Our stories teach and encourage one another.

Sharing your stories, your faith, or simply mentioning Jesus Christ in your conversations may seem scary to some of you. Sometimes, I still get nervous—especially with strangers.

But if God calls us to do something, we cannot focus on what we think we can or cannot do.  If we know God wants us to do it, He will give us what we need to accomplish the task. What seems impossible to us is possible with God.

Pray for wisdom and courage to tell others what God has done. Be strong and courageous, and include the name of Jesus Christ in your conversations at school, at work, and in your homes. 

Don’t just tell what’s going on in your life. When you share something good, tell Who is responsible for your joy. And when you’re struggling, remember to tell Who it is you run to, Who you cling to until the storm passes by. Remember to say the reason for your hope is your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Psalm 78:4-7 says:

“ We will not hide them from their descendants;
    we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
    his power, and the wonders he has done,
which he commanded our ancestors
    to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them,
    even the children yet to be born,
    and they in turn would tell their children.
 Then they would put their trust in God
    and would not forget his deeds
    but would keep his commands.”

Why do we share what is written in God’s Word? It’s the same reason we share our life stories of what God has done and is doing in our lives.

“So the next generation will know them… and they in turn would tell their children.” so that “they would put their trust in God.”

Be strong and courageous.
Tell what Jesus Christ has done, and is doing, in your life.

That’s really all it boils down to. Our stories are not just about what's going on in our lives. Our stories are how we choose to reflect the power of Jesus Christ.

Even when we’ve messed up, or when we’ve been mistreated, or things haven’t turned out the way we planned. No matter what we experience during our time on this sinful earth and in these sinful bodies, God has the power to bring good out of it—to make it into something beautiful for His glory.

Every day we have a choice of telling a good story, or a great one. Be strong and courageous. Tell your story. Tell His story.


  1. Wonderful story! I agree!

    1. Thanks, Pam. Praising our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ with you!


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