Sunday, March 18, 2018

Tell your story—and tell it well

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Ruth1-4; Psalm 77

TO CHEW ON: "There was a relative of Naomi's husband, a man of great wealth of the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz." Ruth 2:1

Don't you just love reading a story as skilfully told as this one? The tale that starts out with two unfortunate widows expands as wealthy Boaz comes on the scene. There is just enough detail and zoom in on specific incidents to make the characters come alive.

We see conscientious Ruth doing all she can to provide for her aging mother-in-law. Her stellar reputation has reached the ears of landowner Boaz who arrives in a flourish of hoofbeats and dust (my imagination here). We watch his gentleness with her and her trusting response. We notice Naomi perk up when Ruth tells her of the day. We look forward to what will happen next as the at-a-safe-distance Boaz-Ruth relationship continues through the harvest season.

The question, Who wrote this? occurred to me. My Bible's introduction to Ruth suggests Samuel:
"It is also reasonable to suppose that Samuel, who witnessed the decline of Saul's rule and was directed by God to anoint David as God's heir-apparent to the throne, could have penned this himself. The lovely story would already have attracted oral retelling among the people of Israel, and the concluding genealogy would have secured a link with the patriarchs—thus giving a steady answer to all in Israel who would desire their king's family background" - Jack Hayford, Introduction to Ruth, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 349.

Ruth's story brings to mind the power and usefulness of our stories. I love hearing accounts of how God works in lives—stories that reassure us of God's faithfulness and thus build our own faith. Hayford's defense of Samuel as author (above) suggests other things about stories. They are sometimes first told orally before being written down. They serve as a link to the past. They also provide valuable information about the background of a prominent person.

We can tell our stories in many ways:

  • Orally to friends and family, and especially to the next generation.
  • More formally as part of a talk, presentation, or sermon.
  • In a written devotional.
  • In a memoir.
  • Through poetry. 
  • Via the actions and words of a fictional character in a novel.
  • In a play.

Do you tell your story? Do you know how to tell it well?
Are you conscious of things like how and when to introduce characters and events with a view to timing, tension and keeping the listener or reader on the interest hook?

Your story is worth telling—and worth telling well!

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the beautiful narrative of Ruth and the stories You are telling through each of our lives. Help me to tell my story with skill and Holy Spirit anointing. Amen. 


The Bible Project VIDEO: Ruth (Read Scripture series)

MORE: More on story-telling

Another word Bible writers use for story is testimony Here are a few verses that encourage us to tell our stories / testimonies:
  • Psalm 60:4
  • Psalm 107:2
  • Isaiah 12:4
  • Acts 1:8
  • 2 Timothy 1:81 Peter 3:15
  • Revelation 12:11

Get some story-telling hints from Jeff Goins:

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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