“Cultural narrative” has become a very popular phrase. Both liberals and conservatives understand the one who is writing a story people believe is the one who is shaping culture. Stories feed us. They solidify our loyalties. They create our convictions. This is why it is so important for you and I to do two things well. First, we need to be able to discern between a truthful story and a lie. And, secondly, we need to believe that our stories matter. As Christians made in the image of God, we know that if our stories matter to the God of the universe, they ought to matter to our fellow man.
I hope you would agree with most conservatives that propaganda rules almost every single one of our major institutions from education to the media to Hollywood. Christians have lost the culture war because the cultural narrative that has won the hearts of many Americans is anti Christian. One of the most exciting things we have witnessed, especially over the last 2 years, is the very strong push to gain it back. Outlets like the Daily Wire, Prager U, Hillsdale College and a host of others are doing fabulous work waging war against the current cultural narrative. People like you and I can join the fight simply by sharing our stories with truth and conviction.
As I have spent the last seven months sharing our story on this blog, The Tennessee Conservative (https://tennesseeconservativenews.com/tennessee-the-america-we-need/ https://tennesseeconservativenews.com/making-peace-with-evil-how-california-went-crazy-op-ed/) and in the Life After California Facebook group (you can watch my interview with Alison Woodall here: https://youtu.be/2AbOZZeCfss) I’ve learned a few things about how to share our story effectively. I hope they encourage you to share yours too.
Tip #1 Be Honest
Do not do the things the left is good at doing. Do not embellish. Do not lie. Speak plainly and directly. Don’t just tell people you moved. Really help them understand the why behind your move. If you experienced loss, tell them. Tell them how it made you feel, how it affected your children, how it changed your family dynamic. Tell them about the unexpected difficulties and the pleasant surprises. Just be honest and let them decide what to do with your story. The power is in the actual facts so make sure you share them.
Tip #2 Don’t Just Be a Sounding Board for Someone Else’s Story
Remember, your story matters. You don’t need to tell people that Ben Shapiro moved to prove you’re not an idiot. You get to share what you experienced personally because you are a human being created in the image of God and you matter. If you decide to quote someone who has inspired you or you feel it’s applicable to include someone else’s experiences in your story, go ahead but remember to always bring it back to your story, not someone else’s.
Tip #3 Become an Active Listener
The better you are at listening when others share their stories with you, the better you will become at sharing your story. Ask questions. Don’t make assumptions. Be inquisitive and don’t presume to know their reasoning before they’ve shared their thoughts.
Tip #4 Have a Good Editor
Go over your story with someone close to you. You might think what you are communicating is crystal clear, but the reality is only you are in your own head so it might actually be very fuzzy to the person you are communicating with. Having someone review your story who knows your heart is infinitely valuable. They can protect you from saying something really stupid and they can remind you of important details you may have forgotten.
Tip #5 Trust God
At the end of the day, no one is infallible but God. You are going to make mistakes. You are going to be misunderstood. You are going to hurt someone you didn’t intend to. But, guess what? God blesses obedience. If you’re honoring God by being honest, you’re also going to encourage someone you never knew needed to be encouraged. You’re going to embolden someone you didn’t realize was feeling weak. You are going to be part of a huge truth wave that counters a very powerful force for evil in our society. That’s exciting! That’s why it’s so important that you speak up. Don’t let yourself forget what happened back in your old state that drove you to the new. Don’t get too comfortable. (Check out my post here for more on how that attitude will destroy your new state: http://redstateramblings.com/how-to-destroy-your-new-state-in-5-easy-steps/.)
Remember, if tyranny happened in the past, it can happen in the future. The only way to stop it is by being part of a huge truth wave with many other little ripples all across this country speaking up for good and speaking out against evil. We do this not because it’s always comfortable or fun. We do this because we love the truth and we hate lies. We do this because we love our kids and our great, great, great grandbabies far too much to shy away from this responsibility. We do this because we have nothing to fear since God is God and He sits on the throne. That drives the left crazy.
In Other Words, Just Share
If there’s one thing our culture doesn’t argue with it’s personal experience. In fact, we are so obsessed with personal experience our society has moved away from history and facts in the name of “tolerating” everyone’s experiences. We should turn a profit on that characteristic of our country and simply share our experiences with clarity, kindness and reason.
Remember, no one has walked in your shoes. I don’t say that to motivate us towards some strange victim mentality that prevents us from ever actually doing anything because we’re so busy focusing on how we’ve been wronged. I say that to remind you that your story has never been shared before. It is entirely unique to you. And while it does belong to you, God is the One Who entrusted you with it. Don’t squander the opportunity. Look around at whatever means He has given you to share truth and just share.
No matter where you live, may you be bold to share truth as God provides opportunity. Trust me, He will.