The only person you have control over is yourself. The only attitude you can control is your own. We can’t control what other people do, how they act, or what they feel. We can only make choices for ourselves.
For instance, Paul knew his story was less than perfect.
Before his conversion, he persecuted Christians! But he didn’t let the sins of the past stop him from becoming a mighty Christ-follower. He received the title of apostle because he wasn’t afraid to truly let God transform him. He gave his weaknesses to God and became a new man. The former enemy of Christians became one of the most influential leaders of the early church.
For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church. But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me — and not without results (1 Corinthians 15:9-10, NLT).
When we beat ourselves over the head about our shortcomings, mistakes, and even what we assume to be failures, remember all those imperfect people who made it into the “Hall of Faith.” Remember those who have gone before us.
- Peter denied Jesus three times.
- Abraham slept with his servant.
- Paul persecuted Christians.
- Jonah ran away from God’s call.
You’ve made mistakes.
So have I.
But we can move forward.
Christ can transform you and me — just like He transformed Paul.
Proverbs 26:11 says that “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” Don’t be a fool, caught forever in the trap of the same old mistakes. You might be weak. You might be humble. But with the power of God within you, you can choose a new life. Just look what happened to those Bible characters.
- Peter became the rock on which Christ build his church.
- Abraham became the father of many nations.
- Paul became a great missionary and wrote many of the New Testament epistles.
- Jonah went to Nineveh and helped save the city from destruction.
What’s the similarity between these men? They all had a choice, and they chose obedience.
Remember, the only person you have control over is yourself.
Sometimes God uses sin to force us to start over. Sometimes our sufferings have nothing to do with you and everything to do with others’ actions.
Ask God to help you forgive those around you who may have hurt you without realizing it. Ask God for the same measure of grace to use on yourself for being less than perfect.
God cares about you.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
God loves you because He created you and there is no one else like you.
Don’t waste his grace today.
This article was adapted from Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me. © 2013 Harvest House Publishers. If you would like to know more about how to forgive others including yourself, please feel free to check out Renee Fisher’s new book on Amazon. Also, enter below for a chance to win a copy.