It is hard to minimize the importance of story to the health and sanity of the human soul. God speaks to his people in stories I Cor 10:11. And even our own stories are given to us to refine our character. But we must read them properly. The fundamental problem with idolatry or any other sin is reading the story incorrectly. We attribute positive events to ourselves or to false gods which are really the work of God. Or we blame other people for evils which are really our own fault. One of the ten commandments says “Thou shalt not bear false witness”. Which I think is a lot like, don’t tell the story the wrong way when it could hurt someone.
This is the time of year when a lot of people evaluate their story and try to make some sense of it, or perhaps make it better for the next trip around the sun. And there are real temptations to make ourselves the hero and everyone else into our supporting cast. But it takes courage to see things as they really are. There are a million conversations going by, but there are some on a world, national, local and even church or family scale which many of us share. A lot of what I post is an attempt to read those stories as they go by and correct the inaccuracies, to call things by their proper name.
For example; a lot of times when I hear the phrase “I’m a Christian” it makes a lot more sense to correct it to: “I’m a selfish coward.” I know it might sound a little harsh but here we are again with telling the truth. Of course we all look forward to that day when God will judge, but part of remaking this entire Earth as it is in Heaven is to judge rightly. As in Matthew 18, or as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6.
Often I see the phrase “I love you.” or something similar and it makes more sense to change it to “being selfish around you makes me feel nice”.
When people do horrible things they will often say “that’s not who I am” which needs to be edited to “I don’t want to accept responsibility for my actions”
“You make me so mad” is really “I have no self control and I’m going to blame you for that too.”
One of my personal favorites is “I am rejecting what you say, not because you are wrong but because of the way you say it.” Which is really “rather than change my behavior I am just going to blame your demeanor and speech patterns”
“That’s not nice.” is really “I don’t like to be held to any standard outside of myself.”
There is a whole class of “yeah but look what you did” which I still find very interesting. That somehow finding unrelated fault in someone else vindicates yourself. There are whole novels written on this principle. And in fact they must be written. For when we encounter goodness better than ourselves we must change or destroy the good. There just aren’t any other options. That is why Jesus had to be crucified and why the story of every one of his true disciples is very similar. We will face persecution, bullying, mockery and even death. Because when your false story meets the true story you simply must deal with it. There is no room for two heroes, if you don’t push yourself aside and put Jesus the Christ in the position of the hero, you are simply doomed to share the story of the fallen angel of light.