God is at work in our lives every day, but are we watching for it? Self-awareness is a great starting point as we begin to see the ways in which God is using all things in our life to craft our God story. But this is not simply self-serving, Scripture tells us that our lives become living letters of the gospel to the people around us.
2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3, NIV)
When Paul says that we are a letter “known and read by everyone” (2 Cor 3:2) he means that we are walking gospel letters to the world around us.
This doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. People aren’t looking for our perfection. They’re looking for relatability and authenticity. We don’t have to pretend to be the hero, that’s Jesus’s role! It is the difference between trying to be impressive, versus showing how impressive Jesus is in His work in our lives.
The point is that the message of the Bible is sufficient. We are not in any way adding to the Bible. However, we become the embodiment of the story of Scripture to those around us. In that way, we are “living letters,” ink that spills off the page of Scripture and resonates into our very lives.
We don’t only tell the message; our life is a living message of the gospel in action.
So, if our lives are living messages of the work of the gospel, then God stories are happening all the time around us! We have to realize that our “testimony” is not only about the time we first encountered Jesus. Sure, that is a remarkable moment, but what happened after? What happened last year? What happened today? All of this contributes toward our testimony, which is what our God story consists of. Imagine asking about a friend’s marriage only to hear the backstory of how they met and leading up to their wedding day. That is great, but you might also want to know how they are doing now. How are they growing in their love? How are they navigating the challenges that are before them? There is so much more to a relationship than its genesis; there is also the journey.
Our God story is not only about how we met Jesus, but how our life with Him looks like ever since, too.
Going back to where we started, we recall that we are “living letters” of the gospel in action. The story God does in and through us will be the first kind of letter about Christ many people will read. So, instead of reading about God’s mercy in Scripture, they might “read” about it by watching how God has been merciful to you; or how you have been merciful toward others. We get to be honest with both the times we get it right and the times we get it wrong. It is all helpful to others we share our faith with. The only perfect person in our story is the Lord who walks with us despite our mistakes and shortcomings. But again, sharing our God story is not about making ourselves the hero.
Jesus is the hero, not us.
And that is okay! Let us be authentic with the whole journey, the whole story is still our God story. And our God story is still being written. The real question is, are we becoming more aware of the stories God is writing in our life?