I just finished writing the rough draft of a book review. The book was Then Sings My Soul: Special Edition by Robert J. Morgan, one of several books from the Then Sings My Soul series that graces our shelves.
As I wrote the review, I thought about just how much more hymns, and other songs, impact me when I know the stories behind them. Then it dawned on me that the same is true of just about any truth presented to me. The most excellent sermon or Bible study becomes even more powerful when the personal journey of the preacher or author is revealed.
Most spiritual points and conclusions truly do not require the stories behind them to make them powerful. The Holy Spirit is perfectly capable of making any message personal to the hearer when the message flows with the truth of Scripture. But, when we learn each other’s stories, something greater than learning happens. Fellowship happens. We begin to see into each other’s lives. We are drawn together in a more powerful way. We become linked in the sorrows, joys, and very act of life itself.
We often find it easier to not share the stories, though. The fellowship that comes from diving deeper requires more of us than simply sharing the conclusion. So, we share the lessons and hold the stories behind them to ourselves.
What we must remember is that we are called to give our very lives for the truth of the gospel. Sometimes that means going beyond teaching others the lessons we’ve learned. Sometimes it means letting them know how we walked through the journey.
What parts of your journey hold special meaning for you? How many of those moments have you shared with other people? How might they learn and grow by knowing how you walked through the daily challenge of spiritual growth?
May we hunger to share our stories with one another. May we long for the deep fellowship that results from such an openness. And may we be the catalyst that teaches someone how what it means to see their own stories grow and encourage someone else.