We are the sum of our past. Well, at least we live that way.
But we don’t have to be prisoners to the past – the bad or the good. Think about how Jesus approached the people He met. Take Simon Peter: everyone else saw an impetuous fisherman, but Jesus said, “You are Peter [rock].” (Matthew 16:18a) Jesus viewed people in light of their potential – their future. Since Jesus came to show us the Father, that means it’s how God views us too.
Not that He ignores the past – or present. He knows the whole story, be it glorious or sordid, as well as the motives we may not have grasped.
But part of God’s forgiving and creating power is shown in the way He keeps His promise to transform us into the image of His Son. (Rom. 8:29)
So if God sees us in light of our future more than our past, how should we see ourselves? How should we see, period?
A present or past focus is self-focus, rooted in the temporal. On my own experience, my own perspective and understanding. Future focus is God-focus. On His character and promises, and what He will do. He is the focus, the goal, the prize.
Seeing what He will make me isn’t to boost my pride, but to give me confidence to act in Him in the now.
Seeing others with this “future view” is equally liberating. It releases me from negative expectations of them, which improves relationships and attitudes and opens the way for God’s future reality to develop in our lives.
Praise God for what He wants to do in and through us! Thank Him that we don’t have to be bound by the past. We can look back and see how He has brought us thus far. With a God-focused, future perspective, we can ask Him to shape us into what He designed us to be.
Let God bless you with the riches of His presence in 2009.
© Janet Sketchley, 2008
For devotionals, reviews and conversation, stop by Janet Sketchley's blog, God with Us: Finding Joy.