Yesterday I wrote about the fact that we are telling a story with our life. We are producing a movie in real time. Sometimes that story is not so good. Sometimes we tell a bad story. We get caught in things that do not matter or plot lines that are toxic, corrosive and destructive. In fact, I’m convinced we all know what a bad story looks like. We all know bad stories because we’ve lived them. A good life comes from a good story.

But do we know what a good story looks like?

I think that we do. Stop and think about your favorite stories. What happens in them? Does the hero have an easy life? Do things get dicey often for the hero? Is there obstacles to overcome? Is he or she forced to take crazy risks? Do they fail? Often?

If we want to author a good movie for our life, we must engage in the truth that good stories often tell hard tales. They often involve risk and failure.

If we are going to tell a good story, we will need to stop legislating risk out of our life. I’m not talking about free climbing a big mountain or sailing around the world. There are people that will appeal to and more power to them. I’m talking about risking in things that will outlive us. I’m talking about risking for others. Think about the heroes you watch in movies. What makes them compelling?

I would suggest what makes them compelling is the fact that they risk their lives for something bigger than themselves. They put it all on the line for an idea that is bigger than them. There are only two types of stories ever told; brokenness or redemption. Occasionally, you will come across a movie or a book that tells both in the same plot line. These are usually best sellers that make a lot of money.


Because we are called to be people of redemption. I would argue it has been written on our hearts by God. We know that living for the now isn’t fulfilling. Living for the moment doesn’t satisfy. Living for only our own gain is not only not satisfying it creates an empty feeling in our gut. Here’s my thoughts on what tells a good story

  • Good stories involve the possibility of failure. Often they involve overcoming multiple failures
  • Good stories involve taking risks and having big, crazy dreams
  • Good stories involve doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.
  • Good stories involve persevering in the face of really big obstacles
  • Good stories involve being dedicated to something bigger than one person
  • Good stories involve tension. Often, the grab your throat because your heart just stopped kind of tension.
  • Good stories involve a serious lack of comfort.
  • Good stories involve a commitment to a cause.
  • Good stories involve selflessness
  • Good stories involve adventure.
  • Good stories involve redemption, either realized or lost but it’s always there.

That’s my list, what about you? What did I miss? What makes a good story? What makes a life a compelling movie or story?

Similar Posts