I’ve heard my generation described as people who view their lives as “anticipated memories.” And, I’ve gotta tell you, I agree with that. Think about this: We get somewhere and immediately start to wonder whether we should recommend the picture be taken or if we should just wait for some one else to do it. We spend so much time manufacturing our memories that we may over look a very crucial one: The memory that actually exists. Strangers can look at our Instagram feeds and piece together who we are but in reality, the person they piece together is the person we want them to see. And rarely is who we want them to see the person who we actually are. So as we filter our pictures, maybe we ought to take a step back and remember that our real lives are completely unfiltered. Because when push comes to shove, that person you hurt when you were younger or the friend you took for granted isn’t going to go to your Twitter feed to be reminded about who you really are. They’re going to rely on that one memory you couldn’t filter: The real one.
So right now, in this moment, think about how you want others to remember you. For me, I always come back to two thoughts: Kindness and goodness. I want my loved ones to think of me and think about how “she was kind even when it was hard and she was good even life was not.” I find those thoughts to be incredibly convicting because I can confidently say that I struggle with both kindness and goodness. DAILY.
I challenge you with this: If you’re going to filter your memories then make sure that you never lose focus of the ones that can’t be retouched. You are more than the person you’ve created through pictures, statuses, and strategically placed “likes.” How you treat people today will count more tomorrow so we must ask ourselves: “Will my actions count for me or against me?”
A heart changed by Christ is evidenced by a faith that is unchanged by circumstance. Paul gives us the fruits of the spirit in Galatians, saying that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are the behaviors of a person with a full heart. Why wouldn’t you want a full heart? Why wouldn’t you want to be a person that folks look back on fondly? Paul goes on to say, in relation to the fruit of the spirit, that, “against such things, there is no law.” I’m not speaking out of line here, friends. This is life with Christ: Storms do not cease but your foundation is solid and can withstand them. There is no religion, leader, or promise on earth that can guarantee you an easy life. But Christ guarantees you a formidable spirit and the will to stand strong.
Life isn’t all about what people think of you. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t commanded to love them–we are. Which means we must treat them well. So many of the instructions that Christ gives us revolve around how we treat others and, in turn, treat Him. Reflect on the fruits of the spirit and think about how you’ve seen those traits in some of the people around you right now. Encourage some one else for the love or joy or patience or gentleness that Christ has displayed through them this week. Then pray for an open heart and mind that He may make you a vessel of those fruits, as well.