When a sister beats breast cancer, why does that inspire us? Why are we moved to tears by soldiers who learn to live with one or two fewer limbs? When we hear a friend tell of how they forgave their abuser, why does that bring us to tears? Such people motivate us to endure, to persevere, to survive. If she can beat cancer, then maybe I can get through this routine surgery. If he can live with one less limb, then I can lose those last twenty pounds. If she can forgive, I can too.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” Most of us want to be better people. Maybe that’s because we all know just how flawed we really are. We’re inspired by the stories of others to rethink what is beyond us. We don’t think we could possibly do what they did. And yet they motivate us. They rise above. And we desperately want to rise above too.
If a story makes you feel good, that’s nice, but it’s not inspiring. Inspirational stories show the evidence of God so clearly at work, that they changes us in some way:
They educate: Inspirational stories may change your perspective or perception of something. Maybe they teach you something about a culture, person, or issue. If it broadens your mind, it’s worth reading.
They elevate: A good story picks you up after a bad day or helps you fight to live for another day. Inspirational stories move you to take that next step and do something that’s just a little bit uncomfortable and encourage you to trust God in your situation.
They motivate: Ultimately, truly inspirational stories will grow your faith or move you to do something or be different. Maybe they lead you to volunteer at a homeless shelter or a children’s cancer ward. Maybe they lead you to the mission field in Zimbabwe or your own backyard. Maybe they just move you off your couch. If you read a story and sense a call to do something positive you’ve never done before, listen to that voice. It’s probably the Holy Spirit calling you to move. Do it!
Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone. Even you. Did you know that? Maybe it’s not your whole life story. Maybe it’s just a memoir; a piece of life you have lived. That piece can help someone else with theirs. Inspiration doesn’t have to always come from someone else. It can come from you. We hope these inspirational stories will motivate you to someday write an inspiring story of your own.
Take a look through the inspirational stories we have for you. Pick one that’s different from what you would normally be drawn to. Maybe it will draw you closer to God or move you forward. What does that story speak to you?