25 years ago is just that…. 25 years ago. When a person accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior the growing process begins. Just like when a new baby is born he does not automatically walk and talk. A new Christian grows into the likeness of Christ over time. Each person goes through times of resentment, rebellion and stubbornness in order to grow past themselves and into a maturing relationship with Jesus. There are hard knocks, anger, tears and of course mistakes along the way. Some people repeat the same lessons and mistakes over and over while others repeat a different set of mistakes over and over. The important thing is remaining on track, striving to reach the fullest potential Jesus has for each person.
People grow at different paces. People grow through different circumstances. Even though no two people experience exactly the same things, the hurts feel the same. As a body of believers we are to encourage one another as we grow. As time and maturity progress we learn who really encourages through prayer and constructive guidance and most of all acceptance.
One of the biggest discouragements is to be reunited with a person from 25 years ago and to be seen as less than what we have become. This person knew us when we first accepted Christ and watched us during our most vulnerable times in life. We are excited to see and talk to this person wanting them to see how we have grown. Instead we are treated like we are beneath them. They do not take the time to let us prove ourselves but instead abruptly log off the computer, walk away or rudely say bye.
In this situation, who grew and who did not grow? As badly as this discourages and hurts us it should be an indication that our prayers and compassion are needed for this person who does not accept our change. Yes, it’s still painful, especially when this is one we have always looked up to as an example. The important thing is that we please God. The Apostle Paul tell us in Galatians 1:10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
2 Corinthians 5:16-17
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know Him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!