In his Jack’s Winning Words blog post today, Pastor Jack Freed used this quote –
“With God it isn’t who you were that matters, it’s who you are becoming.” (Liz Curtis Higgs)
Every day we have the opportunity to start the journey to becoming someone that we would like to be, rather than continue down the path that we’ve been on. Most don’t stop to think about that each morning, nor do many actually pause to make a plan to start in that new direction. For most, It is just easier to let momentum continue to carry us in the direction that we’ve been going. We accept the status quo as, “I am”; instead of reaching for, “I could be”.
The society that we live in doesn’t make that any easier for those whose past includes huge mistakes or even criminal behavior. Society tends to pin labels on those people and make it hard for them to become anything else. In some cases we use stereotypes, in most cases derogatory, to prejudge people or to “keep them in their place”.
But, what if you want to become something else and move to a different place. What if you want to become known as the person that you are becoming and not as the person that you were? We see the occasional story on the news of the ex-con who turned his/her life around in prison and became a new person and headed in a new direction. In many cases they become advocates for change in other people’s lives.
The stories seldom go deep enough to detail the struggles that they went through to make that change, but it wasn’t easy. Our prison system is not designed to reform and help the inmates make life changes into positive directions as much as it is just designed to serve as a deterrent by the example it sets of the punishment for wrongdoing. The few that emerge from the prison experience having made dramatic life turnarounds did it on their own against huge odds.
The key for many, if not most, of those stories was the inmate’s acceptance of God in their lives. The reason that is so critical is that the first step in making the change was to realize that God forgives them for their past. They can then move on to forgiving themselves and from there to committing to becoming a new person – the person that they want to be.
One does not have to be an incarcerated criminal to undergo this process and make the changes in their life that allow them to become a better person – a person who is happier with who they are. It is important, however, to seek God’s help as a first step. Accepting God into your life and accepting His forgiveness frees you to forgive yourself and move in a new direction – towards the person that you wish to become.
As you pause in prayer each morning, ask yourself what you will do today to become that person that you want to be and then ask for God’s help in accomplishing those things. It’s not an instant thing, but if you make it a consistent thing in your life you make some small amount of progress towards your goal each day.
Who are you becoming? What is your goal for today? Remember that God’s got your back.