It recently occurred to me that I wasn’t the same person I used to be. That I had changed over the years. Change is not necessarily good or bad. It truly depends on the effect it has on your life. Taking a reflective look I saw a lot more negativity than I care to admit. I genuinely began to look inward to find the root of it all. The conclusion I came to is that life had warped my point of view.
After being hurt, betrayed, misled, and lied to for so long, I simply adapted to it. To the hurt life that brings. People I considered myself to be close with and thought had my best interest were telling personal details of my life–information I only gave them. Others were taking advantage of my kindness to get over on me. What was I to do? I grew accustomed to pain and became callous. How else can one go through so much and keep going?
My inability to trust people the way I used to, my inability to be as friendly as I used to be, and my inability to care as much as I should, all stem from years of allowing the world to influence me! This is not to say I don’t trust, love, or care at all. If this were true I would not have started ParablePreacher, done encouraging Facebook Live videos, or shared God’s word the way I have. However, I look and see that all of this negativity from the world has influenced me. I’m supposed to influence the world!
As a Christian my light is supposed to shine bright so others may see God’s work! It has shined brightly recently but this does not mean I stop growing! Being reflective allowed me to see weak points in my walk! I am willing to bet if you did the same thing that you would see some in yours as well. Allowing the world to influence you is natural. It will happen on your journey. How will you respond though?
I personally took this realization as a challenge–to grow closer to God. Knowing that He would not want me to continue with such heaviness in my heart, I moved forward and searched the scriptures! Romans 12:12 tells us to be patient in affliction. Matthew 5:16 tells us to shine before others so they can glorify God! What does this mean though?
These scriptures tell us that we must keep God first in all we do! No matter what is going on in our lives. Through the good and bad we must not give up! People are looking at us and the way we handle things. People see the good we do despite going through what seems to be “hell on earth.” This allows people to see God will never leave! This shows people that they don’t need to be cynical, mean spirited, or callous to survive in this life!
Being patient in affliction will mean that you do not change the way you are, to survive the trial. If you find yourself changing negatively as I did then adapt! Become closer to God. Reflect on how you have grown, changed, and adapted through this life. Are there ways in which God would be proud? If not it’s not too late! In Romans 8:28 we are told that God works good things for those who love Him!
You have been called away from the world! Do not go back to it! Do not change to fit into it! Continue to learn, grow, and develop in His name! This will not be easy by any stretch. So in times of distress remember Romans 12:12 and Matthew 5:16. I’m challenging you to reflect on your life with purpose! Do not beat yourself over the negative changes. Instead think, reflect, and develop yourself to please God in all you do! It’s never too late as long as you have blood in your veins and air in your lungs, God is not done with you!