The Power of Story to Eliminate Your Worst Conflict

The Power of Story to Eliminate Conflict by Pearl Allard - Look Up Sometimes

The Power of Story to Eliminate Conflict by Pearl Allard - Look Up Sometimes

When I turned thirteen, my world expanded. I was finally old enough to babysit.

Oddly, jobs were scarce. There were so many kids my age in our neighborhood, these coveted income-producing opportunities were rare. Thankfully, my next-door neighbor chose me. I frequently babysat for this family.  

Their three children weren’t much younger than me. I often played with them even when not babysitting. One of the differences between playing and being in charge, I quickly realized, was the duty to effectively handle conflict. So I decorated an empty cereal box, filled it with prizes, and created a system for rewarding good behavior. It worked. But there was one particularly powerful element to the whole system – story.

I loved telling made-up-on-the-fly stories to these kids. I was all in – did all the voices and acted all the parts. Threw some silliness in for a good laugh. It amazed me how long the kids stayed engaged in these one-woman shows. And if they were positively engaged in a story, they wouldn’t negatively engage in conflict!

Fast forward two decades.

I read a story in the book of John and came across this verse: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

I didn’t quite understand. Jesus came to earth, ok that was obvious. But why all the melodrama and sci-fi allusion? Words on a page wrapping themselves in flesh? Weird.

What I realized was, like all good storytellers, God wasn’t content just to tell his story – he wanted to act it out. He speaks through the characters in the Old Testament. Then he takes center stage in the New – a tiny babe in the straw. Son of God born in a barn.

God used this powerful method of communication – acting out his own story – to permanently eliminate the worst of all my conflicts: my sin and my separation from him. He lived and died and lives today so I can be in right relationship with him. And in healthy and holy relationships with others.

In other words, the Storyteller invites us to step into the pages of the story he is still telling.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” Romans 5:1-2

How have you seen the power of God’s story eliminate conflicts in your own? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!

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12 thoughts on “The Power of Story to Eliminate Your Worst Conflict

  1. In my story, I have made 11teen-million mistakes, some of them very BIG, and God has not stopped loving me, and will not stop, ever. I know I need to love people the same way; it’s #2 on our to-do lists, so it’s a biggie. I really didn’t think I had it in me though, God-like love. I’ve held grudges, been judgy, given up on people. But when put to what I consider the ultimate test, being betrayed by my husband, I was able to stay, to learn to love like God loves and to realize that kind of strength and courage doesn’t come from me, I still don’t have it in me. It only comes from God, we just have to be willing to receive it. And if we do, all kinds of good can come from all kinds of pain.

    1. Jodie, you are a living display of God’s power at work. Your warmth and vulnerability to share your story and its intersection with God’s just astounds me. Your writing at http://www.utterimperfection.wordpress.com can’t help but encourage those who read it, especially those who have been where you have. I know I’m encouraged by you. I count it a privilege to know you, friend. (Online counts, right?) May God continue to write his joy into your story. Love how you said, “It (love, strength, courage) only comes from God, we just have to be willing to receive it. And if we do, all kinds of good can come from all kinds of pain.” I’ll raise my teacup to that!

    1. Thank you, Hulda. Knowing the “happily-ever-after” eventually comes doesn’t keep plenty of tension and page-turners from entering our plot, does it? So much love to you, sister.

  2. Thanks, Pearl, for the reminder that the greatest Storyteller is writing our story. And I for one would rather Him write it, than me.

    Your piece blessed me today.

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