Getting old the inevitable. Maturing is optional.
The only way to avoid getting old is not to live anymore. It is the law of life that with the passing of time we grow older. However, just because we are getting older does not mean that we are automatically maturing.
According to the dictionary, to mature means:
- Reach full physical and intellectual development.
- Grow in age and good sense/judgment.
As you can see, maturing is an intellectual act as well as a physical one. Growing up requires good sense as well as growing in age!
And as I have advanced in age, I have realized that no matter how hard I try to mature, not everyone will accept it.
The Little Girl in his eyes
On the eve of my thirty-seventh birthday, we visited a relative. Since we hadn’t seen this family member in a long time, we decided to make an impromptu visit. Although we did not plan this visit, it was a total coincidence that it coincided with the day before my birthday.
One of the reasons we don’t hang out with this family member is to respect his desire to keep away from the family. So each visit seems to end in a hectic conversation. I dare say that to avoid a bad moment we have kept our distance from each other as well.
The visit the day before my birthday was no exception to a hectic exchange. I admit that it is an uncomfortable situation for me because no matter how much effort I make, I end up sharing my thoughts in whatever topic of choice at the moment. And I don’t always do it in the best way. Anyway, that night the conversation culminated with the relative saying the following:
Yesterday I was talking to one of your aunts and I asked her how come you always try to control everyone. And I don’t get used to it because I still remember you as that little girl in that little yellow bath where we bathed you when we took care of you.Words from a relative of mine…
And there it is. This relative admits that he still sees me as that little girl. It did not matter that if you round my age in mathematical terms I am practically forty years old!!
Hearing those words, I realized how difficult it is for us as human beings to accept change in others.
Before vs. After
As much as we like to witness transformations, the reality is that when we know someone for a long time it is difficult for us to recognize the changes they make in their lives. If you don’t believe me, let’s examine Paul’s conversion to see how difficult it is to accept changes in a person.
We know that Paul ruthlessly persecuted the early Christians. After having a true encounter with Christ, his life mission changed. Before his conversion, Paul sought to destroy the church. After his conversion, Paul took up the mission of preaching Christ. However, at the beginning of his ministry, when he tried to preach in Jerusalem, this is what they thought of him:
For Christians it was difficult to recognize and accept Paul’s conversion. The interesting thing is that immediately afterwards, Paul found an ally who helped him establish a new reputation. It was thanks to Barnabas that Paul was able to establish a relationship with the apostles.
Barnaba’s goodness teaches all of us a great lesson. And with this I want to encourage you.
People like barnabas
I dare say that thanks to Barnabas, Paul’s ministry took flight! Had it not been for Barnaba’s faithful testimony, it was unlikely that believers would accept Paul’s conversion because of his past acts.
You and I need to find out who are the Barnabas in our life who recognize the change we have experienced. They are those people who may know your past, but do not limit themselves to recognizing that in the present you are changed. People like Barnabas who celebrate the change in our lives.
To become and do all that God intended for you, you need people who celebrate the change in your life. Do not settle for being surrounded by people who do not appreciate your effort to change and mature. Stay away from people who are troubled by the best version of you.
Only when you dare to surround yourself with people like Barnabas will you be RE-INTRODUCED to other people as someone changed and renewed.
I assure you that although my relatives fail to recognize the changes in me, I have found and maintained relationships and friendships with people like Barnabas. Thanks to them I can rest knowing that the change in me is real.
Finally, let me warn you that the secret is to change. It doesn’t matter if you find a faithful Barnabas if you yourself are not making changes. If you really make changes to improve as a person, don’t be discouraged by those who don’t recognize it. Rather keep looking until you find your Barnabas.
P.S. If you need help finding someone like Barnabas, I would love to help you! You may write to email@example.com or book a coaching session to start.