The Power of a Story

We’ve all heard stories (good or bad), in our toddler years, early school years or read one in a magazine. Stories are a regular part of our existence. To me, stories, just like love, makes the world go round. We tell stories and are told stories about others and events. God loves stories, as He wouldn’t have inspired various people to write books for what we now refer to as the Bible.

The Bible is complete with a vast amount of fables and legends, and not only do they entertain, but also inspire and challenge us in the way we live our lives. They influence the trajectory of our vertical relationship with God, and our horizontal relationships with others.

The media and 21st century publications are brimming with one article after another, with topics covering politics, crime, history, fashion, education etc. The film making industry is also booming, with actors and actresses being paid huge sums of money to reenact talented writers’ fantasies as well as true-life events.

So what is it about stories that make them so powerful and important?

1. Stories capture the human mind and fuels imagination
2. Stories entertain, educate, encourage and instruct
3. They affirm
4. They are landmarks for the future
5. Stories keep the past alive and paint a picture for the future
6. They describe people and their journeys
7. Stories help to dispel myths and reveal facts and truth

My question is if stories are so powerful, why do we not tell them more or expect others to tell theirs? Nowadays, we don’t need to look too far to hear about dreadful incidents, but may have to dig a bit more to find inspiring ones. Nevertheless I believe we must balance good stories with the not so good, as each type provides a powerful effect if told and received correctly.

I also believe that the more you are at peace with your own life experiences and are able to share them, the more you will discover who you are and how to assist others in getting to know you.

People who don’t know themselves, or are in denial of their past, stand a chance of losing their core. In effect we are all a product of our experiences.

As a parent, you need to share your history with your children, so they can appreciate who you are and what you stand for. This helps them to draw a conclusion about themselves. If you are single and hoping to get married, you should not only tell your story, but also ask to know about your partner’s.

This will help both of you to avoid misconceptions, and enable you to truthfully appreciate and evaluate each other’s parallels, including variances. However, you will BOTH have to be honest about your past.

What if you don’t consider your stories interesting or inspiring enough to write about? My advice will be, tell your story; it’s yours and makes up who you are. You may be surprised at how much it informs you and others, especially those you care about, of who you are and where you are heading.

Be careful of people who appear to have no history. Refuse to be misled by people with fabricated stories.

Here’s my challenge to you. From today, choose to tell your own story whenever the opportunity arises, in the most compelling way. But be aware of which part of your story has made you a better person and which areas need improvement.

Do ensure you make time to listen to other people’s stories as it could well be the deciding factor as to whether or not you form an alliance with them.

Finally, as we celebrate Christmas, I encourage you to reflect on the story of Christ’s birth. Even after two thousand years, it continues to be the central point of why we Christians celebrate Christmas. The Christmas story has been told and repeated year after year, and yet, hasn’t lost its powerful meaning of sacrifice. As you reflect on this, I, and the Whispering Heart community wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.