Stories have a very powerful effect on the human brain. Neuroscientists have studied the effects that stories have on the brain verses just raw information. Scientists say that raw information activates only small parts of our brain, while stories activate nearly all of it.
We all love a good story. Maybe you like to read books or watch TV shows or movies. They draw our attention because we get involved mentally and emotionally in the story they tell. You may not realize it, but we are being told different stories all day every day. Often we make up stories in our head. We attach a story to every event that happens in our day. For example, maybe someone cut you off in traffic on your way to work this morning. Our response is usually to make up a story that explains why it happened. Maybe that person is just a plain jerk. Or maybe they weren’t paying any attention because they are going through something really hard and their mind is somewhere else. We make up these stories in our head to try and understand and make sense of the world around us.
God knows that stories are very powerful. He created us in such a way that we are able to connect with stories. Jesus obviously knew how well we connect with stories and that’s why he told parables.
I want to bring something to your attention today. Maybe you’ve thought about this before, and this will just serve as a reminder. Satan knows how we connect with stories as well. Therefore, he will do his level best to influence the story we make up in our heads about ourselves. For example, maybe someone says something negative about you and you begin to write a story in your head that echoes that statement. I am a terrible person, I am worthless, no one loves me. Ever made up these kinds of stories in your head? Do you think it is Christ who is influencing those stories in your life? NO! Absolutely not! The story that He tells us is: I am loved, I am adopted, I am cherished, I am forgiven, I have value.
Satan knows that if he can influence us to tell these negative stories about ourselves, he can separate us even further from God. He wants us to lose heart; to lose hope. This happens to people of all ages, even children. So, my challenge to you is to not only speak the truth to yourself, but also your children and your friends. When they are making up false stories about who they really are, speak God’s love and help them re-write the stories in their heads. The story of grace and redemption is so much more hopeful and powerful than the stories of death and despair that we are so used to telling ourselves.