Matthew – Fulfilled.
We went to Oklahoma recently for the funeral of our brother in law. We grew up in Oklahoma. However, we left when Randy and I were nearly 40 years old to follow God’s call to other ministries about thousand miles away. At the huge family gathering after the funeral, we saw adults and their kids and the kids’ kids that we hadn’t seen in many years. Like many people, and I bet you do the same, we “freeze frame” people as we last saw them. Our minds won’t allow growth because we weren’t there to see or experience it.
We are amazed when we see them much later in life and recognize the changes…or lack of changes. Some things don’t seem to change…like the love we have for each other. Some things do change, like our waistlines and hair color, but the unique personalities and giftedness from God is still there. We should build each other up in love and grace honoring each other for the stedfast growth in God’s ways.
But sometimes we don’t. One remark made was about my younger years as if I still “lived” in that mindset, saying he was surprised my marriage to Randy lasted as long as it had…45 years to be exact…but whose counting? “My, how you’ve grown” is not exactly a great builder of self esteem either, especially when you are short and will always be short. We miss home when we are older because of the good memories of growing up. Allow people to grow, mature and transform. Look for ways God has obviously blessed this growth and say it out loud. Or be silent and smile.
But alas, Jesus had to same problem….
Matthew 13, The Message
53-57 When Jesus finished telling these stories, he left there, returned to his hometown, and gave a lecture in the meetinghouse. He made a real hit, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise, get such ability?” But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “We’ve known him since he was a kid; he’s the carpenter’s son. We know his mother, Mary. We know his brothers James and Joseph, Simon and Judas. All his sisters live here. Who does he think he is?” They got their noses all out of joint.
58 But Jesus said, “A prophet is taken for granted in his hometown and his family.” He didn’t do many miracles there because of their hostile indifference.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help us to be more loving and kind to each other. Help us to lay aside childish ways and allow for the growth and maturity of others. Help us to celebrate spiritual growth in others and avoid tearing each other down for things done in childhood. Help us see others as You see them. Grudge holding is a determent to relationships as well. Help us to look to You and look for You in others. In Jesus Name, Amen