You Are Better Than You Think
I watched all three seasons of The Guardian on Amazon Prime Video. It is a law drama created in 1999. It takes place in Pittsburgh. Great writing and also great acting.
I am a fan of movies and TV series in which the main character grows from a not so great human being to a better human being. The Guardian accomplishes this with the character, Nick Fallon, played by Simon Baker.
In the very last episode, one of his mentors, Alvin Masterson, tells Nick quite unexpectedly, "You know, you are a better man than you think."
When I heard this a couple of weeks ago, it just hung in the air. It obviously stuck with me as I am writing about it.
As I reflected on this sentence, I realize people who know me and love me have been saying this to me for years.
For some reason, I never really heard it. I didn't want to hear it. But yet I can tell you each instance in which it happened. A dear friend told me this most recently at a Christmas party. Kathy tells me this all the time.
Why is it that I hear it yet deflect it?
It is a high compliment which is humbling and causes self-reflection. But I must not want to believe it. Why?
In his first sermon of the New Year, Michael Youssef of Church of the Apostles talked about carrying the past into the future. Here are some quotes from his sermon.
"What happened last year does not matter."
"You are forgiven. Those sins are forgotten by God."
"Many of us want to go back to the past. Jesus says, don't go there!"
"The past and the future are connected. If you are always looking back, you are giving more weight to the past than the future."
"Burn the bridges of the past. Forget about it."
And then he went on...
"Face the future by trusting God."
"Keep your eyes on the audience of one."
Seeing myself as the man of the past has hobbled my witness as a disciple of Jesus Christ. I have an internal dialogue going on.
"Who are you to think you should pray with people?
"What makes you think God can use your story?"
"You are going to invite people to the High Tech Prayer Breakfast? You?"
Michael then talked about a story in the Old Testament from 1 Kings 19:19-21. It is here the great prophet of God Elijah approaches a man plowing a field, Elisha.
He throws his cloak over Elisha signifying he is the next prophet. Elisha says goodbye to his father, immediately sacrifices the oxen and burns all the equipment which signified his prior life. He is only looking forward now. Called by God, he is a new man with new strength and a new purpose.
This was true for me.
When I surrendered my life to Jesus, he threw his cloak over me. He said to me, "You know, you are now a better man than you think you are."
2 Cor 5:17 I am a new man in Christ, the old is gone, and the new has come.
2018 is the year for the new man to trust in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit within me. I need to think of the better man.
Charlie Paparelli is president of High Tech Ministries, angel investor and blogger. Twice each week email subscribers to his blog receive his thoughts on being a successful entrepreneur and Christian leader.