Changing Lives

We change physically, emotionally, and intellectually as the years go by. We have experiences, some pleasant, more often painful, but we learn from them. We make mistakes, some minor, some major, but we learn from these too. We obtain knowledge, some from books, much from life. We grow. We evolve.

You are not the person you were ten years ago. You are — hopefully —  a better person now; wiser, calmer, gentler. The years might have added some lines to your face, but they have softened the rough edges of your nature, taken away the abrasiveness and the anger, and mellowed you. 

Now, here is the thing. Other people are not who they were ten years ago either. Or even one year ago. Our memories of them are based on what they were when we knew them. They might have been rough with us then, but they may have become gentle now. They might have been brash and outspoken then, but they may temper their words now. They might have been wild and wanton then, but they may have reined in their passions now 

People are not intrinsically evil. (How can we be? We are, after all, made in the image and likeness of God.) Everybody wants to do their best to lead a good life, but situations and circumstances, not to forget past wounds, can make it difficult for them. However, we have to believe that they are trying their best and give them the benefit of the doubt if we see them fail. We need to give people a second chance; perhaps even a third, although Jesus tells us we should give people as many as needed (see Matthew 18:21-22) — but that might be beyond most of us.

So, when we come across someone we knew a while ago but had a falling out with, let us look at them with fresh eyes, telling ourselves that if we have changed, they will have too. And, who knows, you might find yourselves friends again. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

May the Spirit be with you.

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