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Life At Its Best: Create beautiful world for others

By By Jim Graff
Feb. 1, 2013 at midnight
Updated Jan. 31, 2013 at 8:01 p.m.

Jim Graff

We often hear about the power of believing in people. We know it's the right thing to do. The only problem is that it's not always the easiest thing to do. What's easier is to get focused on their past or imperfections or to write them off for not having the skills or talents we think it takes to be successful.

But that's not the kind of life God has called us to lead. Instead, he wants us to recognize that everyone has a destiny, as well as the potential to reach that destiny. There's no one he can't use. Then, he wants us to create environments that nurture their potential.

I have a friend whose story illustrates this truth well. He grew up in an extremely violent home. His father was abusive and came home drunk many nights.

At 17 years old, he dropped out of high school and moved out of his house. He got involved with the wrong crowd and found himself doing things he knew he shouldn't. Eventually, the guilt began to weigh on him. He knew something needed to change.

A few months later, he found himself at the altar of a church, surrendering his life to God. The pastor from that church noticed him and struck up a conversation with him. After talking, he felt impressed to call one of his pastor friends. He told him that he saw potential in the young kid and asked if he'd mentor him.

This pastor (who later became my friend's father-in-law) took him in and began to nurture him. He didn't focus on his past but on his potential. He began to speak life to the gifts he saw inside of him and helped him develop skills and attitudes for a better life. This young kid eventually became a pastor - and a great one at that.

How do I know? Because Larry and his wife, Ginny, have been faithfully serving alongside me at Faith for 21 years. I am so grateful for the time his father-in-law took to invest into him because what was invested into him, he has invested into me.

David Williamson, Larry's father-in-law, passed away last month, and his memorial service was one of the greatest celebrations of a life that I've ever attended. Story after story proved that he lived a life to nurture potential instead of point out flaws.

Hebrews 3:13 says, "Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called 'today,' so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."

What kind of environments are you creating for those in your world? Is it one of hope and grace Or is it one of negativity and condemnation?

Just as God created a beautiful world for us to live in, he has given us the ability to create a beautiful world for others. So let your words and actions create something beautiful in the lives of those you love.

Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com

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