You tell yourself a story. We view our situations in chapters; relationships with others as characters; struggles as conflicts. You and I have an internal dialogue where we interpret our lives. The stories we tell ourselves affects our reactions.
The other day, I began to tell myself a story. I assigned the characters motives and made rulings on their actions. Then the plot changed. A friend and I had a conversation. When I started telling my story, it became apparent that my interpretation of the events might not be accurate.
Our internal stories help uncover our feelings, but they may not accurately comprehend the truth.
Recently, my friend Joe spoke (Click here to listen) about the famous verse, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Rather than stopping at that verse, he brought to light the rest of what Jesus said. First, Jesus calls us not miss our blind spots by removing the plank in our own eyes. Then we can accurately evaluate others so they can grow instead judging which has to do with final rulings.
Jesus goes straight to the heart, right into our internal stories. When Jesus teaches us to pray for our enemies, forgive others, and not judge, He calls us to check the stories we tell ourselves. We do not always have the accurate view of others, God, and ourselves.
Our stories left unchecked distract us from experiencing and extending grace. Jesus challenges us to reflect on our inner conversations. We can make judgments and assumptions of others in our stories without having all the facts, leaving us blind to our areas of growth. The Gospel moves us from believing the lies of our own stories so that we can see life through Christ’s perspective.
Becoming aware of these stories invites us to evaluate. Maturity means reinterpreting our stories. Attempting to see from someone else’s vantage point. Owning our part while not negating the wrong. In this process, God’s grace can transform us from the inside out.
What stories are you telling yourself? How might God’s grace challenge you to reinterpret your internal stories? How might this change the way you see others?
Photo credit by Dustin Lee.