Daily Devotional – 4/13/17 “When I thank the old me!”

Sometimes you need to take a look back at the old you and say thank you. Thank you, self, for the times we had to bump our head, it made us wiser. Thank you, self, for those mistakes, it made us stronger. Thank you, self, for trying to do it on our own, it made us appreciate God more. Thank you, self, for thinking you could not because it made us do it. Thank you, self, for the ruined relationships because it made us love us more. Thank you, self, for those nights you talk us through it. Thank you, self, for those times you didn’t let no hinder us. Thank you, self, for not believing what ‘they’ said. Thank you, self!

Sometimes, you just have to thank old you! Now, this isn’t for those of us who are stuck where we were last year, last week or even last night. But this is for the person who wakes up competing with nobody but self. See, I’ve found that when I compete with myself to be better than the person I was yesterday, I won’t have time to compete with you. When I strive to be better than the me of last year, I just may accomplish something I’ve been putting off. When I take the time to thank selfish me, I can then give to folk who I know won’t pay back. When I take the opportunity, every now and then, to thank the old me, it is then I forgive the old me while sweeping away the remnants of who I used to be. That way, when you try to use my past against me, it won’t bother me. That way, when you try to deny the new me because of the old me, I won’t be defeated. That way, when you shut the door in the face of the new me because of what you heard about the old me, I can walk to the next one and knock again. When I thank the old me, you can no longer us old me against me. When I thank the old me, I’ll remind myself of who I used to be while striving to never be her again. When I thank the old me, it’ll refresh my memory of Isaiah 43:18 that says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”

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Daily Devotional – 2/23/16 “Baggage!”

Certain airlines have a minimum on the weight you can carry. For those, they charge you extra if your bags are too heavy. Chile, I’m so glad God doesn’t charge us based on the baggage we carry with us on a daily basis. Seriously! I mean, some of us are still holding on to stuff that happened two husbands or wives ago. We’re still dealing with mess from childhood and we’re 50. Some of us still mad at the pastor and he’s been dead ten years. Still holding on to a hurt by your last boo and he’s been married, to somebody else. You’re making your new spouse pay for what the last one did and it’s all because you’ve yet to unpack the baggage from that relationship. Aren’t you tired of carrying that load? Isn’t your back hurting from all that crap on your shoulders? Yes, I know you wanted to care for momma but if you know you couldn’t why are you still beating yourself up over putting her in a nursing home? Oh, I know you really wanted to help your brother, whose locked up, but if you’re barely eating how can you feed him? Yea, I know you wanted to help your sister with all her children but baby, you hardly got room for your family.

When are you going to unpack those bags? You’ve got to be tired by now! Stop focusing on what you did or didn’t do, back then or yesterday; let it go. Ok, so your business didn’t work out. The pastoral assignment didn’t pan out like you wanted it. Your relationship didn’t progress like you hoped it would. Your job didn’t fit. Now what? Are you going to dwell there or are you going to move on? Are you going to stay in your loss or will you get up and try again? Stuff happens. And guess what, sometimes it’s bad but deal with it. However, don’t continually drag all that other stuff around because you may find that the person you’re trying to ride with doesn’t have the room or time to deal with it. And if the truth should be told, I shouldn’t have to obligate myself to deal with your old rotten, molded baggage. If you know you aren’t over your last relationship, don’t get into a new one. If you haven’t dealt with the church hurt, stop hurting other churches with it. If you’ve yet to figure out why your last business or assignment didn’t work, don’t go into a new one. Deal with your issues and get to a point in your life where you’re tired of dragging that stuff around. Unpack it better yet, throw it all out!

God says in Isaiah 43:18, “But forget all that–it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.”