Growth and Strength for the Future

Hello dear friends. I am so glad to join you all again for this edition of “Take It In.” Today, I want to look at the past and present. I’m no Dr. Who, but I like to keep a broad perspective. What brought me to this theme this week is some personal reflection I was doing during a hike on one of my favorite trails. I got to thinking, “Wow, I can be really hard on myself.”

I had this message reaffirmed by a book I was editing on the same topic. Without a doubt, this topic was hitting me in the face like I backtalked it. But I encourage you right now to ponder that. Are you hard on yourself? Do you hold others to the same lofty, nearly impossible standard you set for yourself? If you are like me and this is something you struggle with, I want you to do this little exercise for me (it won’t make you sweat or anything like that, don’t worry).

I want you to think back to how you have grown. I want you to think about what you have accomplished since last year, the year before that, and so on. Perhaps you have kept a journal or have some old poems that can attest to who you were in the past versus now. What has changed? How have you changed? I really think you will surprise yourself like I did.

As I looked back through old journal entries and poems, I was almost horrified with myself. My priorities were so..wacky. I cared way too much about all the wrong things. I thought I had to constantly fight for money and status for my life to mean something and the like. I thank God for how he has changed and transformed me. I now know it is all about glorifying and serving him and others. I do not care what people think of me (yes, I said it). I care about what God thinks of me. He is the only audience that matters. I just want people to see that I am in Christ and he is in me.

While we should hold ourselves accountable, we can go to an extreme. We can beat ourselves down to the point we are unable to keep on in our journey. That is not what God wants. We just celebrated the glorious resurrection of our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He came, lived, and died so you and I could live eternally and live freely. We can stand redeemed and restored, ready for service in the kingdom. God wants to forgive you, heal you, and love you. Accept his gracious gift through Jesus and forgive yourself and others. Look back at the growth you have already accomplished and praise God for it and keep on growing and going. God is rooting for you and so am I.

“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence, but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.”

― Henry Ward Beecher

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

Please join the “Take It In” family and like, comment, and subscribe for future posts. I am working on launching an accompanying podcast very soon! I will keep you all posted. Don’t forget to listen to my YouTube channel for narration of classic literature from my personal library. I love you all and will join you again soon.

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