Telling is an act of faith

open-house-and-backyard-luauWe hardly knew each other, this young man at our table and we four older-than-him adults.

But that didn’t stop him.

We were all gathered to celebrate The Way, a faith-centered recovery program. This night was Open House, and we had already received a tour of the facilities by another young man, another breaking free from the shackles of addiction on his soul.

He, too, didn’t let our mere casual acquaintance stop him.

From telling.

Telling is an act of faith.

Telling about your past. About the mistakes—okay, the sins (this word hurts more, yes?).
Telling about your dreams. What you’re longing for.
Telling about your salvation. Who you’re hoping in, for better or worse.

The man at our table told he’d messed up. Badly. He did things the wrong way.

But with God’s help, he was changing. He was staying clean. He was rebuilding a relationship with his child. And he was praying for guidance and blessing for his ex-wife.

He was telling us—despite barely knowing us—because he knew it was good for his healing.

Telling is freeing.

And in telling us, we also could pray for him. He asked us to.

Is telling risky?

Yes.
▪ We could retell his story to others in hurtful ways.
▪ We could judge him and spew shame.
▪ We could ignore his story and prove the telling fruitless.

But when we don’t tell, it’s riskier.

Telling is safer than not telling.

When we keep our stories to ourselves, are we fearing man’s reaction more than we’re fearing God? Are we missing out on help we could be receiving? Are we robbing others of help they could be receiving from our story?

If confession is good for the soul, why don’t we do it more?

We need more faith that our stories are safe with God. It’s in the telling that we prove we’re trusting him. Or at least trying to.

It’s an act of faith to say, “Here I am.”
And to affirm, Here He is.”

Do tell.

* * *

I’ve been praying for the young man’s struggles and thanking God for his successes. Because he told me.

Who can you tell your story to this week?

16 comments:

Nikole Hahn said...

Telling is powerful. And brave, for people can reject what you tell them or accept.

Lisa notes... said...

Nikole,
Yes, it definitely takes courage to "tell."

I came across this post below on confession just this morning. Coincidental? Not!

http://michaelkrahn.com/writing/2011/08/4-reasons-you-should-confess-your-sins-to-someone/

A profitable read.

Monica Sharman said...

Wow, to be so open with casual acquaintances. I used to be so closed, a face behind a wall. But I am learning in this. When God is to be glorified, how can I NOT tell? You're right, it *is* risky. But worth it.

Lisa notes... said...

Monica,
We’ve probably all experienced the down-side of the risk: being burned after telling someone one of our secrets, then hearing about it elsewhere.

But I've read from Richard Foster once that it’s not up to us to even protect our reputation: leave that with God too. Granted, we still have to be wise and use caution on who we share things with, but overall we probably needn’t fear being as closed as we typically are.

Glad you’re learning in this. There are always so many lessons for us to learn! What a blessing that God is very patient with us. :-)

Old Ollie said...

True, but telling is not in vogue...except in the media.

Floyd said...

It's a hard thing to tell others of your weaknesses. Of course everyone has them, some are just less accepted in society as others.
Since I started sharing my writings in public, I've found it easier to be honest about my shortcomings. I do this as a call from God. In that honesty is where God builds strength, at least in my opinion. I'm far from perfect even in this arena, but God's getting all of us there.

Rambling Heather said...

Oh so true!! Why is it so hard to tell at times? I want others to see Him in my story yet... I often clam up and never share.

Kathleen Basi said...

Keeping things to ourselves often causes them to whirl around and gain power exponentially. But then, sometimes talking can also lead to confusion...b/c everyone has an opinion, whether or not they know the whole story. And sometimes the stories involve others, so we don't have the right to tell. As a blogger it's something I struggle with often.

Blue Cotton Memory said...

Telling is our faith walking! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for encouraging others to tell their faith stories. Those stories are so vital to bringing others into the family of God:)

journeytoepiphany said...

This is so good! My mother's church makes all the baptism candidates read their personal testimony before getting baptized.

Faith comes by hearing...

ells said...

Stopping by from next door...yes..telling if freeing..tell is safer than not telling...oh how the enemy wants us to be silent.
Great encouragement
Blessings~

Cindy said...

so well said...simply and encouragingly - some of those benefits I had never really considered before...perhaps it is the "listing" format that makes it so appealing to me! At any rate, this post is one to come back to...

thanks for taking the time to write it...

Blessings!

HopeUnbroken said...

perhaps the only time the telling is not meant to be is when the potential exists for further wounding that the soul can not yet handle.
great post!

Barbara H. said...

It's always a blessing to hear other people's stories of God's grace. Sometimes it is hard to know how and when to plunge in and how much to tell, but when the Lord gives the opportunity and urging, we should go for it.

David Rupert said...

I like how you bring out the vocal. we do need to "tell others" about all of these things -- our fears, frustrations, failures and triumphs.

Freeing indeed.

emily wierenga said...

yes!!! oh yes. and it's through this meme i hope to encourage such telling. but, then, when do you stop telling and trust, it's all been told?

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