So often, we feel so broken that we wonder why we cannot do anything right.
“I can never finish what I start. I always turn back to old habits. I’m afraid to try anything new.”
As these thoughts take over our thoughts, we lost sight of how far we’ve come.
We all grow at different rates, partially because we grow up in different circumstances. Sometimes, we find ourselves judging others on pretty much every level, when we have no clue where their life has taken them. That’s why I find people so fascinating. Who they are has so much to do with their story.
So, instead of leaning in, we steer away because these aren’t “our people.” But they are God’s people, and instead of judging them (which the majority of people will do), we need to love them.
If you welcome in the unwelcome, you are giving them a little bit more courage to move forward. Maybe you can’t change them, but by loving them, they might find the courage to change. Either way, when we do the opposite of love them and we shame them or lecture them or completely shut them out of our life because it’s too hard for us, that’s when doubt and uncertainty grows in their heads.
To trust that God is good and real and there for us, we need people to love one another no matter the cost.
That’s who Jesus was and is–a Lover of people no matter the cost. As followers of Christ, that’s who we ought to be. We don’t need to push a Bible in someone’s face and say, “This will solve your problems!”
Instead, we need to give people hope and faith by our actions and the way we live our lives.
So many people struggle to believe that God is real. I know I did. I only ever saw it as a different culture growing up. We can’t just save people by telling them what to do or who to be or what to believe or the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong.
But we can love them unconditionally and leave the saving up to God.
I feel like the biggest struggle when hoping someone you love changes or hoping you yourself will change is patience. Everyone wants to be fixed now–be better now–but life is full of ups and downs, failures and tragedy. It’s okay if you feel set back. God forgives you. He knows your deepest thoughts and fears and insecurities. He loves you, and He will be there no matter what life throws at you.
What I’m getting at is change takes patience. It takes you one day at a time trying to pick yourself back up. It’s an uphill battle of growing into your fullest potential by experiencing life’s trials and learning from them day after day, year after year.
When I think back to who I was a year ago–although I haven’t changed significantly in ways others might see–I’ve experienced growth. Whether your growth be big or small, you’re growing. You’re learning.
Be patient with who you’re becoming, and enjoy the journey because ultimately God is good.
He will guide you. He wants to shape you into the image of Christ and that takes time. it’s not a quick fix. It’s a journey. So make the most of it.
Don’t dwell on the fact that you’re not where someone else is, and don’t judge someone for not being where you are. You have no idea how far they’ve come, based on what they’ve lived through. No one’s perfect. We all live different lives, and that’s okay.
However, we are capable of loving each other so that we may be able to lift each other up and lift each other to Christ.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselveswith compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
This is my command: Love each other.