Save the Drama

I don't know who coined the phrase, "Save the drama for your mama" but I don't like it. It sounds like something a drill sergeant might say to a new recruit. All I know is, I have three daughters. I have all the drama I can handle and then some - so please don't save any more for me!

Let's face it, we love drama. We spend billions of dollars a year flocking to theaters to see the best films. We love a good redemption story or a surprise ending. Our favorite characters are those who conquer the insurmountable. It's no different in Christian churches, we love a good testimony.

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Don't get me wrong, I believe in testimonies. The Psalmist says, "Let the redeemed say so." (Psalm 107) How else would we know of the great works of the Lord if everyone kept their stories to themselves? We need to hear how God works in people's lives to be encouraged, inspired and to endure our own struggles. But what if we don't have a very exciting or dramatic testimony? What if our story doesn't have a crazy twist at the end? What if our testimony wouldn't sell tickets at the box office?

Some folks grew up in Christian homes, accepted Christ at a young age and actually had functional families. Some people never have an issue with alcohol, try drugs, and actually wait for marriage. Sounds unlikely but it's true. Sometimes these people feel like their Christian walk isn't quite as interesting and exciting when they hear other people's dramatic testimonies. Young people question whether or not God is working in their life because they haven't given Him a reason to work. This sort of thinking can lead to troubling behavior and wrong thinking.

I heard one wise parent tell their child, "Your testimony is that the you DO have a loving family and have not fallen into deep sin!" In a day and age when teens are struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide and substance abuse, it's a huge miracle when a teen makes it through their high school career NOT encountering things like this. If you grew up in a loving, Christian home and believed in Jesus at a young age, then praise God! Many people aren't afforded such a great beginning. We need to be careful not to idolize someone's story or the people who tell them and give ALL glory to God - whether a testimony is vanilla or it's a cliff hanger.

The Bible is chock full of dramatic stories. The lives of some characters like Moses or Joseph are afforded multiple chapters or even books in the scripture. Other characters like Jabez or the thief on the cross are mentioned in only a few verses. Everyone's story matters to God no matter its length or depth.

Finally, Jesus gives us a wise warning in John 16. "In this world, you will have trouble..." For those who don't feel like they're an overcomer - just wait. There's plenty of struggle and strife in this world and if you live long enough, you'll encounter some. You may not struggle in your teen years or in the early years of your marriage but one day you might have a kid who brings you to your knees daily. Don't wish for a better story, pray to be faithful to walk with God daily no matter what comes your way.

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