The Other Lens

Today’s Reading: Luke 16: 1-13

At the beginning of August, my family held a family reunion which brought together family members that had not seen each other for more than 20 years. This was also important because this was the first time that the descendants from my great-great grandfather gathered together.  It was testament to the longevity of my great-great grandfather, who was born into slavery and his lineage.   In preparation for the reunion, I had several conversations with many members of my family.  One of these conversations with my second cousin, I received an education that I had forgotten. When we were younger, this cousin and I would play at our grandparents houses. While reminiscing, I mentioned that I was a “good kid”.  She quickly and promptly reminded me that I was a “little stinker” and if  things were not a certain way I would get mad.

When I was younger, my grandmother was a babysitter and a nanny for children. She would be available for parents to drop-off before work and pick-up after work.  She would take care of children in the early morning hours through the evening hours.  I would be at her house during these times as well. One particular time, it was early morning and I couldn’t get my way and I remember biting a friend. It’s a powerful memory because I remember the consequences of my actions and I believe I never bit anybody again.  Sometimes the actions and realities of our past can be forgotten or clouded from our present.  Sometimes the new person that God has created in us does not allow us to be burdened by our past mistakes and past lives.

Luke 16:1-13

He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3 And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me?

In today’s chapter of Luke, Christ is showing us a shrewd manager and how this manager knew what to do and how to do it, but chose not to. In the previous examples,  I wanted to show you that we all have multiple lens that we can be viewed through. Many of us have a picture of who we are currently. This may be the same or can be different from what others see.  I have found that after many years of reflecting, re-examining, and repenting, I can see the goodness in me.  I can see myself in a different light than that little boy in the previous tale.  God has given us the ability to become renewed and a new being. After a long period of time, I remembered these instances in my early life that created the person who I am today.  I had those experiences to make me reflect on my behavior and how I interact with others. 

In our previous lives, we all have done a lot of things that are not the best. In our previous lives, we have hurt people. In our previous lives, we have done despicable things to ourselves and others. This is not to cover up or to be ashamed of who we were in the past, but to give us a new one perspective on who we were and what we did. God has wiped every sin away from us and has created us into new beings. 

Isaiah 43: 25 

“I, I am he

    who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,

    and I will not remember your sins.”

His forgiveness and he has changed us,  but he doesn’t want us to forget the lessons that we learn from the past. The lessons from the past helps us to be more compassionate to others and to understand their faults better.

How can we grow and go forward? How can we know what we’ve done in the past and what we will do in the future will affect our future. The manager or the steward  in the story knew what he did in the past. The steward knew how to be better. The steward had the resources to change his ways. What will we do with this new “lens” perspective?

Be Blessed