"Don’t judge me in terms of what I am, but how far I’ve come,
and in terms of where I hope to go in life."
It’s too easy to do the opposite of what Tony says and only judge people by what we see in the present. Even when we know someone well we can ignore their personal growth journey and only focus on what we see in this moment. Instead of hammering them for what they haven’t achieved yet, we should celebrate the steps along the journey of growth. This highlights the difficult personal choices they have made and encourages them to keep moving forward in maturity at the same time.
I often forget to extend that idea of gracious thought to myself. I want to be so much more than I currently am—a deeply devoted follower of Christ, more thoughtful husband, an encouraging father, and a helpful colleague. When I look at where I don’t measure up in those expectations, I can fall into the trap of neglecting how far I’ve come in my own growth. This doesn’t give me license to stop moving forward, but should encourage me to keep maturing and developing as a man.
I’ve got to believe this is true for the people my life intersects with so that it can also be true for me.