Monday, November 8, 2010

Is your "Ugliness" inspiring others?

This fall we moved to a new home that we rent in the country. The house is great with the exception of the “ugly” mural on the garage. To emphasize it’s ugliness… you should know that this garage is a landmark off the road for everyone to see in our area as they pass by. I asked several people who didn’t know where I lived, if they knew where the garage was with the “ugly” mural on it and it was unanimous… bulls eye, bingo, jack pot. You get the point. Needless to say as a part of the lease, I requested that it be painted. I could take the “ugliness” no longer.

The landlord provided the paint, so I began the process of painting last weekend. I didn’t realize how much needed to be done to prepare the surface to paint. I ended up scraping for a couple hours. I recruited my two boys and a neighbor boy to help and we still didn’t get it all finished. I was able to paint the top and cover the words (see picture provided), but I still have more scraping to do…. errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Living with ugliness that you can see every day is no fun!

Did you know that each of us carry “ugliness” with us on a daily basis? Unless you are perfect, we have all failed some time in our lives. Some of that “ugliness” represents bad choices we have made, old habits, addictions, lifestyles we aren’t proud of, etc… We all live with a memory of some kind of “ugliness” from our past. God is faithful to forgive and forget as we give these areas of our lives to Him, but the memories are still there. We have to remember that we are works in progress and with God’s help we can overcome.

When we give our lives to God, we start a new chapter in our lives. It’s one with God being the focus… it’s a new way of living and we are still learning the ropes. Look at what 2 Corinthians 5:17 says about it… ”This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” How exciting! We have the opportunity of a fresh start. Even though we have started this new chapter in our lives, sometimes there are days where we tend to dwell on the past. It seems at times hard to get beyond it all, but God has a better idea when it comes to our shortcomings and failures.

I was at a ladies group recently and heard a phrase that soaked deep into my spirit. A lady was sharing about how the “ugliness” of her past wasn’t pretty… she was discouraged and afraid to talk about it. Another lady there said…“your ugliness is my inspiration.” She had seen such a difference in this family that it changed her life and gave her hope that God could do the same for her. Whether you realize it or not, the “ugliness” of your past is inspiring others.

People are watching us. They are watching and waiting to see how we will react to what life throws our way. They are watching to see the difference when we give our lives to God and waiting to see how long it will last. Once they see it sticks… they are using your life as inspiration and a goal to shoot for. If God can do it in you, surely they are not a lost cause. You inspire them!

It is our natural tendency to hide our past failures, but God has another option. We have the opportunity to share God’s faithfulness to us with others. When He prompts us and allows us, we should share “our story” of what God has done and how He has changed our lives. When we share it does two things: it says “thank you” to God for setting us free and it encourages others to trust God to help them overcome in their struggles.

Your life has the potential to inspire others to have greater faith. Faith to believe God to do miracles in their lives. There is a scripture in the Bible that talks about how God can turn any bad situation around to bring good… your life is no exception.

“Don't you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good…” Genesis 50:20 (NLT)

What could God do with your “ugliness” if you let Him? Could your life be inspiring others without you even knowing it? Whose “ugliness” has inspired you? Don’t hide the miracle He has done in your life… tell the world and help them experience for themselves a life changed by God. So, tell me… what is “your story”? I’m ready to be inspired.

Living to Leave a Legacy!

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