“Life is not about who you once were. It’s about who you are now, and who you have the potential to be.”
Isn’t it wonderful to know that we can change and change again! There is potential in all of us to rise above our failures, left turns, screw-ups, missteps, whatever you want to call them. After we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we will never be what we once were.
We all have chapters in our lives we wish we could erase…if it were not for those chapters, we would be very proud people, believing only our good and living only in the memory of our righteousness, and there wouldn’t be much depth. We wouldn’t have much character.
There is something to learn from every experience. The quote above is from a summary of the book of 1 Peter. His letter addresses the aliens in the land of Asia Minor. These aliens were Christians and most likely persecuted. In one definition of alien means differing in nature or character, typically to the point of incompatibility.
They were once unbelievers, but after hearing the Gospel, they were new Christians. They had changed from what they once were.
Early in the book of 1 Peter, his message to these new Christians is to “1get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.” 1 Peter 2:1-3 (NLT)
They were aliens because of their faith, but they were no longer aliens in heaven (Ephesians 2:5). And neither are we. Praise the Lord!
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Not much has changed since Peter wrote that letter. We still need to leave the old self, along with its sinful habits, behind (Ephesians 4:22-24). Sometimes it’s not so easy. On the other hand, it would have been impossible once. The good news is we can all start afresh because nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).
Even when our old habits come back for a visit, God gets our attention so we can adjust, He forgives us and makes us stronger for next time. Because we are human, there will be a next time, my friend. So, rejoice in your successes. You’ll have them to draw from later, and that is a reason to smile.
Be strengthened by seeking the spiritual nourishment Peter wrote about, which is in God’s word, prayer, fellowship with other believers, and serving others.
Find joy in His new beginnings.
“Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”
—1 Peter 2:20 (NLT)
- What old habits like to keep visiting you? No matter how many times you move, they manage to find you.
- What boundaries can you create to keep them from knocking on your door?
- Take time to pray, asking Jesus to help you recognize triggers so that you can strengthen boundaries, redirect your thinking and actions, and maintain a joyful heart.
This post is part of the #Write28Days writing challenge. Also posting on Five Minute Fridays link-up today. The prompt today is ONCE. Check out the other great writers participating in these link-ups.
Swindoll quote: https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-general-epistles/first-peter