Telling A Better Story

This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt.  The prompt today is “better.”

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As I was browsing in a local mini-supermarket yesterday, I was approached by an employee asking for my opinion on potential slogans for a new healthy eating promotion they are planning.

She wanted to know which of the two straplines I thought was most effective and why.

The options were:

  • Choose healthier options
  • Eat well – live life

To be honest, I don’t think either of them are great but I told her I thought the second one was better.  “Choose healthier options” just sounds bossy, whereas “Eat well – live life” at least points to the positives a bit more and presents healthy eating as something beneficial.

It got me thinking about people’s perceptions of the Christian faith.

I think a lot of people see it as bossy and controlling – a list of do’s and don’ts.  They see it as restrictive and outdated, as dull and boring, as being all about rules and rituals, whereas the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

Following Jesus means joy and freedom and hope.  It means love and security and purpose and finding your true identity.  It means life in all its fullness.

My question is: how can we communicate that to people?  I don’t mean with a snazzy strapline, but with our words and our lives.

I’ve begun reading a book called “A Better Story” by Glynn Harrison.  I haven’t got very far into it, but I have been struck by one of his points.

Culture often presents self-fulfilment as being the path to joy and fullness:

“Be yourself!  You can be anything you want to be!  Do what makes you happy!”

It’s an appealing idea.  Who wouldn’t be drawn to that?

But too often, Christians come against it with rules and regulations and “the Bible says…”

That approach is unlikely to inspire anyone to change if they have no notion of why they should have respect for what the Bible says.

Harrison suggests that what we need to do is not to simply argue against the story culture tells, but to counter it by telling a better story – by presenting Christianity as something more appealing, as the path to hope and life and freedom, as it really is!

How do we do that in a way that connects with our culture?

I’m not sure.  I’m hoping that as I get further into the book there will be some ideas, but it’s certainly something I’ll continue to ponder!

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21 thoughts on “Telling A Better Story

  1. You ask a great question, Lesley! I think living a joyful life, loving well, and being friendly go a long ways towards spreading the gospel. I think St. Augustine said something about going out and preaching gospel, and if necessary, using words.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. And that is why we are not to be conformed to things of this world. Might it be a balance of being culturally relevant while also being set apart as followers of Jesus. Hmmm. Good question to ponder.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Something we all need to think about! It’s even an issue at church. We haven’t been reaching others for a long time! So many questions and not many solutions. A thoughtful post Lesley!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, Lesley, and some good questions.

    I have a feeling that Christianity is seen as kind of weak; ‘broken is beautiful’ and ‘vulnerable is valuable’.

    I’m not broken; I break things. And I’m about as vulnerable as as an Abrams tank.

    Cancer may yet win, but it will celebrate its victory by crying like a little girl at the merest hint of my memory.

    I’m leaving a trail of wreckage that can never be cleared.

    And when I step onto the Streets of Gold, the angels will turn away, and God Himself will bow His Head.

    Under the Banner of Heaven, I’ll shake God’s Hand, and look Him in the Eye.

    And I’ll ask for a resupply of ammunition and frags, because I’m going to go back.

    There’s evil to kill. I want to be in on the hunt.

    Semper Fi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Andrew! I agree, Christianity can be portrayed as weak and a bit girly at times. I wonder if that’s why, here anyway, the number of women in the church seems to far outnumber the men. Definitely something that needs to change!

      Like

  5. Great post Lesley!
    Living our life in such a way that it speaks who we really are in God. The power & impact of this is too often minimized.
    We are to be living memorials to the testament of what God has done in our lives. Walking the walk not just talking the talk 😉

    People are watching our walk all the time & watching very closely! Living our lives in reality through Christ’s strength in all its ups & downs is a powerful witness. Then when asked we can share the hope that is truly found in our experience with our Savior.
    Blessings,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the idea of writing a “better story.” And the best story ever written is the one found in God’s Word. No wonder it’s the best-selling book every year. Great questions! #FMF

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s interesting to me how our culture says “be yourself” but doesn’t really mean it. The words should be “be the currently accepted version of yourself that we, the majority, have agreed upon as cool.” If we truly want to be ourselves, we have to submit to the Lordship of Christ, because He alone can shape us into who we are designed to be. Looking forward to hearing more thoughts from you about the book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true – culture says “be yourself” but still has a certain idea of how we should be. It’s much better to focus on God and becoming who he made us to be.

      Like

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