If you are the same person tomorrow as you are today, your life will pretty much be the same as it is now. If the only thing that changes is that you’ve been breathing for another day, another year, you’ll simply be where you now – only older. To experience a different future, you will need to become a different person.
Jesus loves you unconditionally just the way you are. But He also loves you too much to let you remain the way you are. His grace makes a different tomorrow possible because a different you becomes possible.
If you want your relationships, your job, your mindset, your financial situation, your influence to enlarge or improve, don’t look for outside circumstances to change. The majority of lottery winners or sports stars with a sudden infusion of cash end up more miserable and broke than ever in a short time, unless THEY change. You’ll never be happy married until you learn to be happy single. If you don’t treat people kindly when you’re nobody, external success will only magnify your arrogance or cruelty. A larger platform will only make who you are behind closed doors apparent to more people.
So the question is,
Who Are You Becoming?
You don’t know what your future holds, but God does. And here are some ways you can cooperate with Him in becoming the person He needs you to be for that future.
Hang Around With Growing People
It’s been said that five years from now you will be the same person you are today except for the books you read and the people you hang around with. There is good research to show that you tend to have the same wealth, health, and habits as the people you spend the most time with.
Choose your closest friends intentionally. If you want to become like Jesus, hang around with people who are becoming more like Him. What kinds of media are your friends consuming? What books are they reading, or TV shows are they watching? Are they physically active? What are their food habits? Do they carry a lot of debt? How do they treat people who are struggling or different from them? How do they respond to turmoil economically, politically, emotionally, spiritually? What do they value most? How are they displaying character traits such as integrity, courage, kindness, resilience, flexibility, and self-control? Are they focused on the future more than today? Do you like what you see? Do you want to be like they are next year?
Human beings are not our model. But Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) You will unconsciously pick up behaviors, attitudes, and mindsets of the people you are around. Make sure they are things you want to pick up.
Don’t Waste Your Sorrows
Life happens – to you, and to every other human being. What makes you special is not the wounds you receive, but what you do with those wounds. It’s almost always the hardships you go through that make the biggest difference in you becoming who you need to be.
If your desire is only to live a comfortable life, then be disappointed when troubles come. But if there’s anything in you that wants to make a difference, don’t waste your sorrows! Although I’m not glad my husband died, I’m profoundly grateful for who I have become as a result of walking through the grief process. My spiritual battles in the past have made me unafraid of whatever might come in the future. I say this with humility; the devil has tried his best with me and he has lost. That kind of experience leads to resilience and courage as nothing else can.
We all get wounded. Trauma is almost always simply a fact of human life. That doesn’t mean we don’t seek healing; we do! It doesn’t mean we don’t seek to prevent trauma for others; we do. But it does mean that what the enemy meant for harm, God can miraculously turn around for good. (See Genesis 50:20) Don’t waste your sorrows!
When turned over to God, all your sorrows can become priceless ingredients in building you into the person He needs you to be to fulfill your purpose.
Give God Access
It’s a principle I keep coming back to in my own life, and in working with others. God knows who He needs you to be for the purpose He has for you tomorrow. He knows the things in your heart and character that need to be dealt with, developed, or changed. Give Him explicit permission to access every aspect of your life.
If you let Him, the Holy Spirit will regularly put His hand on something in your heart, pull it up into the light, and say, “This right here; it needs to change. Let Me change you here!” Look for those moments. Get quiet enough in God’s presence so that you can hear Him when He says that to you. And when He does, say Yes.
Winston Churchill said, “To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”
Your “finest hour” may or may not be public. God knows what He will need you to do. He is the Master Creator, and He is well able to create you to be the person able to fulfill that role. That may be as a loving husband or wife, a builder of systems or buildings, a trusted leader, a crafter of messages in words or art, or some other role. Give Him that opportunity.
Don’t wait for something to happen in your external circumstances. Determine to work together with God to become the person He needs you to be.
Who are you becoming?
Your Turn: Are you simply waiting for things to change? Or are you actively invested in becoming who you need to be? How are you doing that? Leave a comment below.
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