Before and After
“Beware of harking back to what you once were when God wants you to be something you have never been.” -Oswald Chambers
Before-and-after pictures tell amazing stories. Yellow teeth become white, bald heads grow hair, and coach potatoes become muscle men. We all like to see change and significant improvement. The worse the before picture, the better the after!
Paul was not above a little before-and-after instruction. In his letter to the Galatians, he started with a bleak before picture. “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” (Galatians 5:19-21a)
That is a very ugly before picture, filled with rebellion against God, conflict with others, and debasement of ourselves.
Fortunately, Paul adds an amazing and encouraging after picture as well. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23a) Who wouldn’t want that?
God wants to change us from a pretty miserable before to a very glorious after. No matter how bad the before picture looks today, trust God for a transformation. He loves to take the worst and produce the best. Whatever your before looks like, you don’t have to stay stuck there. Trust God and become the best possible after picture.