We all live by stories. I don't mean that we use stories as illustrations for life principles or that we like to hear stories as entertainment. I mean that the only way to make meaning out of human experience is by believing you are part of a story. Stories are sense-making devices. We have some idea about a past and a future that help to make sense out of the things we are experiencing right now. This is simply inevitable, and part of what separates us from the animal world.
For the Incas and many other ancient cultures, it made "sense" to sacrifice virgins to the gods in exchange for good weather and plentiful crops. Why? Because of the story they were living in. The stories we live in have massive consequences for our lives.
It's really important, then, to make sure the story we are believing and basing our lives upon is the true one. Don Miller recently wrote about this (I think it's kind of a preview of his new book) in a great post titled "How the Stories you Believe are Screwing with Your Mind." In it, he outlines what he sees as a false gospel story that is told in way too many churches Sunday after Sunday: