If you went to your high school reunion or family reunion, would your classmates or family recognize you? If so, what would they remember about you? Would their memories of you encourage you or embarrass you?
For me, it would be a combination of both. I hope they will remember more of the good than the foolish things I said or did. However, for some, they can only see the man that I use to be.
Moreover, if they haven’t experienced growth and change within their own lives, they surely won’t recognize the difference in you or me. They still see us and the rest of the world through “old eyes.” Their insight and vision are so connected to “the good ole days” that it dulls the lens in which they see everything and everyone.
This is not uncommon, so many of men and women that I’ve counseled over the years, live life stuck in the past, held hostage by the pain or pleasure that shaped how they see themselves.
Sound familiar, are you stuck in the loop of regrets, unhappy with the life you’re living, longing for the good ole days? How’s that working out for you? Not so good, right?
Fortunately, due to God’s grace, I am no longer the man they remember. Although my outward appearance resembles the man I was (with more wrinkles and less hair), my heart, mind, and spirit are stronger than they have ever been. Far stronger than the younger me they remember.
Because of what Christ has done, I’m learning to live a life dependent upon His strength, His wisdom, and see the world through His eyes. He sees our world very different through the eyes of grace, which I am learning to do. Daily learning to live life according to Paul’s challenge to Timothy, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” II Timothy 2:1.
Nothing is stronger than God’s grace, his unmerited love, and forgiveness. And nothing is more desirable than to listen, learn, live, and love according to His grace. Grace looks forward; guilt looks back. I hope and recommend that you choose to embrace grace and let go of the guilt-ridden man or woman you were.
I love this quote, “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.” Holding on to yesterday only exhausts your strength; living loved in God’s grace restores and renews your strength. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” Ephesians 12:9.
I’m older yet stronger than I’ve ever been in my life because of His grace is the source of my strength. My hope is that you can say the same about yourself.
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