Many of you know that my oldest three children live 4 hours away with their mother – one of the down sides of separation and divorce. My daughter normally FaceTimes me at least 4 times per week. Tonight’s conversation somehow led to the subject of my YouTube channel that she did not know I had. (You can check it out here.) For nearly 15 minutes of the conversation, she watched some of my old preaching clips and commented along the way. As several in the house could hear her listening, we talked about how much preaching had changed since then. The sad part is the change was not necessarily positive.
I must confess that, in my efforts to be relevant and keep it simple, I weakened the content of my preaching (especially in the days of the church plant). I cannot say that my intent was to weaken the message, but I tried a little too hard to engage a predominately teenage audience. I learned a lot of lessons in that almost 2-year period that I wish I could change. All I can do is correct things moving forward.
Reminiscing does not always give us warm, fuzzy feelings. Sometimes we look back and see how we need to improve. Tonight was most definitely the case. I remembered those days when I would pray with great intensity, study with great intensity, and deliver a message that challenged people. My preaching in the final months of the church plant received a great deal of criticism (well-deserved criticism, I must say). We live and learn.
In reminiscing, don’t be afraid to look at the things you could have done differently. Don’t allow it to paralyze you, but choose to learn and apply the lessons as you move forward. Don’t just dwell on the positives or delusions of grandeur. We must take a realistic look and allow it to motivate us to be the best we can for Christ.
My challenge to you – reminisce and allow the Holy Spirit to give you a realistic view of the way things were and the areas He needs to correct in your life while you yield to Him to do His perfect work.