Storytellers

By: Steve Becker

Romans 12:2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

In the book Crucial Conversations, the authors tell us there are basically three negative stories we can tell ourselves when things are going wrong: “I’m a victim”, “There’s a villain” or “I’m helpless”. These stories color our thinking and are certainly common in our world. They distort our ability to understand God’s will.

I’m surprised at how often I tell myself one of these stories, especially in the heat of the business day. All three stories imply that I can’t control or influence much. They fuel my emotions and cloud my ability to clearly see things.

For example, one day my boss asked me to do something in the middle of a management meeting. As the hair rose on the back of my neck, I could hear myself telling a story; I was a victim, my boss was the villain. His request was unreasonable. He made it because he didn’t want to deal with it and I was being dumped on.

Was it possible that his intent was different than what I was hearing myself saying? Fact or fiction?

Immediately afterward we got together and shared the stories we had been telling ourselves. Were they true? Turns out they were not. We were able to come to a better view of each others’ perspective on the subject. I was able to move on and do God’s will.

Emotions are not good or bad; they just are. There’s something fueling what we’re feeling. Check out the story you’re telling yourself. It’s just a story. It’s not necessarily true. Don’t let it cloud your thinking and hide God’s good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Reflect on a time when your emotions were negatively stirred. What story did you tell yourself? Sort out which parts of your story were fact and which were fiction.