There are moments or choices that are part of our stories that are not part of our identities.
I’m not referring the the chronic consistencies—whether positive or negative—that are woven throughout our stories. Every one of us can glance back and see brief seasons or periodic blips that are more like single threads woven into our fabric. As we lived them and their consequences, they seemed obvious and overwhelming, but as we keep them in the context of our lives, we begin to realize: As difficult as our situation was or as regretful our choices were, they were isolated. They were small in the context of so much else in our lives if we deal with them well and grow.
Those brief moments or seasons don’t define us. Yet someone else might try to define us because of them.
It’s important to examine our lives. It’s important to be willing to change. We can’t point to one good thing we did or even a brief season and declare, “That’s me! I did my part. It’s enough weight to carry me through anything else.”—then belie that goodness with long-running choices that reveal a different consistency. If you know someone bringing up things from your past that no longer characterize you—and perhaps never did but were a sprinkling of poor choices that invited you to grow over time—you do not have to listen to the lies about you. But you have to be willing to admit and learn the truth.
What does your story now tell? Because now matters. Where are you headed? And why? And with and for whom? Your answers matter.