A thought has been swinging in my head in the past few weeks that I thought I’d share for today. This thought revolves around our continuing development as people in Christ. So often it is so easy to get frustrated with people and just think “they are who they are, they will never change!” It’s so easy to blame and point fingers. But how often do we consider that those people (who often frustrate us the most) are also works in progress. They too are growing. They too are learning. What?? Wait, i thought they were just incompotent, or rude, or selfish, or insensitive people who will never change!? Nope.
God is working in their lives just as much as he is working in ours. Consider wise old writers who publish books in which they state “when i was younger, I really did a bunch of things wrong! I really screwed up! But God worked in my heart and has changed my attitudes and motives throughout the years.” I’ve read books that say that..i’m sure you have too. So what if…now just run with me here…what if those people who frustrate us the most are simply works in progress. What if maybe, just maybe, God WILL change their hearts and motives too…perhaps they will look back at those actions that bother us the most and say “wow, i really had things all wrong!”
We are all quick to admit that we, ourselves, are works in progress. We are all expecting grace when we mess up. We know that we dont have everything figured out, and we hope that people will not hold it against us when we really fail sometimes…when we really screw up and our own selfish motives run rampant and hurt everyone in the process. We desperately want to be given grace. So turning the tables for a second, shouldnt we give others grace when they wrong us? Considering they are works in progress, they are broken human beings just like us…in need of a Savior to shape and mold them to be more and more like Him?
So the challenge im giving to myself is to see people as works in progress. To see them as old, wise authors who will someday write a chapter in a book about how God was gracious to them when they really screwed things up, and that he continued to mold them and shape them into men and women with hearts and motives after His own. We are ALL works in progress, and we don’t have the right to judge someone for their current condition. We dont know who they will be come. We dont know how these situations will even shape us. If the motives are unpure, God will expose them. And we have to rest in the fact that God will right all wrongs, and take care of things in a way only He can.
1 Corinthians 4:5 “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.”