Storytime: Tell Your Story

Almost everyone loves to eavesdrop on the characters of Lady Mary in Downton Abbey and Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. The drama, the characters, the intrigue, the costumes . . . the story! So what’s your story?

Everyone has one. You may think your story is boring or embarrassing but definitely not epic. However, your life’s journey may be the catalyst to encourage someone to find God’s purpose and plan for his or her life.

As a theatre major in college, I had to play many characters on stage. More than memorizing lines, I used a character analysis sheet with questions like the ones below to delve into the character to find out what made her who she was. Not every question could be answered, but with close study of the script, I could find many inferences and facts that would help me understand what made this character “tick.”

  • What is her name? Does it have meaning?
  • What is the information about her family? (parents, siblings, other relatives, husband)
  • What is her age?
  • Where does she live?
  • What does she wear?
  • In what time period does she live?
  • What are the religious influences around her?
  • Any personal or historical events that might affect her physically or mentally (divorce, death, illness, poverty, war, famine, natural disaster)?
  • What is her education?
  • What does she look like physically?
  • What does she say about her own character?
  • What do her actions tell us about her character?
  • What do other characters say about her?
  • What is her goal in life?
  • What does she or doesn’t she do to attain this goal?
  • What is her relationship to God?

This month, choose a Bible character and try to answer the questions. Investigate by using the Scriptures, Bible commentaries and concordances, and history books about the time period and place.

Here are some Bible characters who might have something in common with your life experience:

  • Eve— naïve, deceived, one son murdered, another son a murderer
  • Sarah—pushed her own agenda, jealous of the other woman
  • Jacob—wrestled with God
  • Moses—not a great speaker
  • Naomi—moved to a strange place, widowed, children died, poverty
  • Ruth—married a foreigner, converted to another religion, widowed, second marriage
  • Hannah—yearned for a child yet gave her firstborn up
  • Esther—thrust into the spotlight
  • Gomer—unfaithful
  • Jonah—ran from God
  • Mary—unexpected pregnancy
  • Joseph—adoptive father
  • Peter—capable of great anger, denied Christ
  • Martha—distracted, worried

These were not perfect people with perfect lives. They lived the “drama” and that is why we find them so interesting. More importantly, God used their lives—messy and unhappy as they might be—to show us how He can use every person to His glory and purpose. The Bible characters can also teach us how to live godly lives and what behavior we should avoid.

Next month, share your Bible character story and tell your group about your own “drama” and how God is shaping you to become a leading lady or man in His plan.

For a list of and commentary on other female Bible characters, visit biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/toc. For a list of and commentary on male Bible characters, visit biblegateway.com/resources/all-men-bible/toc.

Janice Backer is a freelance writer in Jefferson City, Tennessee.

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