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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

Encouragement is what Family Life is All About

We don’t like people to change, because their witness

to change challenges us to change. And so in our

families, we often become each other’s worst enemies

in the struggle to change and grow.

For example, when people are trying to change, they

are trying to leave their past behind for a better and

brighter future. In order for them to achieve this, they

must keep their focus fixed on the change they wish to

achieve. Often, however, we become uncomfortable

when we see a family member changing, because this

change reminds us of our own need to change. We try

to justify or defend ourselves, even though the person

changing is not attacking us.

We often resort to reminding the person who is trying

to change of his mistakes in the past. Over and over

again we remind that person of things he said or did

somewhere along the way. Through this useless comparison,

we convince ourselves that we are not really so

bad after all. But in doing so, we are missing the one

distinguishing point: the other person is now trying to

change and grow, and we are not.

The worst part of all is that by bringing up the person’s

past over and over, we take that person’s mind off

the changes he is trying to make in his life and place it

back on the things he is trying to eliminate. Thus, we

make it much harder for this person to change.

Placed together on this earth in families, we are

meant to lead each other toward our common goal. We

are meant to help each other love God and grow to fulfillment.

When we do not share the same goal or when

we are lukewarm in these ambitions, we tend to prevent

those around us from achieving their potential.

Encouragement is what family life is about. We are

all on the same journey, and more often than not we just

need a little encouragement from the people we love.

Matthew Kelly

From A Call to Joy

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