What if we knew everyone's story? What if they knew ours? Besides making some great sandwiches, Chick-fil-A also made this great training video that's a strong reminder of how every person we encounter—baristas, clerks, co-workers, and drivers (who may even cut us off)—has a story.
Watch the video...
Although we may not see it on the surface, many lives are carrying incredible pain or sadness or are lacking in hope or purpose. The challenge for us as believers is to see beyond the behavior or the exterior to the heart. We must remember that many people are living with broken hearts and broken dreams. Because of The Fall—when sin entered the world and became part of every human's nature—we all now experience this pain, sadness, and loss. The world and our lives—apart from Christ—are broken and hopeless.
Jesus looked past the exterior of our lives into the heart. The accounts of the woman at the well (John 4), the paralyzed man at the pool (John 5), the sinful woman with the alabaster jar (Luke 7), are all examples of Jesus looking beyond what appeared on the outside, engaging them and their story right where they were. The beauty, however, is that He just doesn't engage their story: He redeems, He gives living water, and He forgives!
“God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
There's always more going on than what we can see on the outside of a person. It's easy to get frustrated at the child who's always getting in trouble or acting out; but later, when you find out he's fatherless and is just crying out for someone to love him, you understand his behavior. Maybe you have co-workers who are hard to be around; but later you find out they lost someone significant. Maybe the person who is always trying to attract attention in negative ways was abandoned as a child. Maybe the driver who cut you off was distracted by some horrific news.
Believers experience similar hardships, of course, but the difference is the hope we have because our story is part of much bigger story. This bigger story, God's Story, sustains us in tough times and connects us to a Rescuer—who replaces hardship and pain with joy, turns sadness into gladness, and changes hopelessness into hope. His name is Jesus, and He alone forgives and redeems. (Read more about Him in The Story.)
We need to share God's incredible hope and rescue because behind the facade of every person we encounter, there is a story.
The challenge for us today is to look past the exterior of those we interact with and let the light of Jesus shine into the situation. People need to hear God's incredible story of hope and rescue because behind each person's facade, there is a story. And for those without Jesus, it's a story that needs to be redeemed by the Redeemer.