fred smith was a businessman, a church leader and a mentor to countless other christian leaders. he was an author and a speaker who has passed on his wisdom and sage advice to multiple generations. he died a couple of years ago at the age of 91. even in his advanced age, he was still writing and operating a web site call “breakfast with fred”…inspiring a new generation of church leaders to excellence.
i would like to grow old as he has. here is a quote that he wrote near the end of his days:
I have learned that people are the way they are because they want to be that way. Now, I haven’t always believed this. In fact, when I started out in life I wanted to be a social worker and I became extremely disillusioned with people. Now I am totally convinced that each of us is the way we are because we want to be that way. We rationalize and give all kinds of reasons that this isn’t true, but bottom line —you are choosing to be who you are. When you have an opportunity to change and you don’t take it, you are deciding to be who you are. And, of course, when you grow through challenging yourself, you are becoming who you want to be. People want to be the way they are.
do you agree? after all my years of pastoring, counseling, people helping, team building and watching people become the people they are, i am convinced that fred is right. i realize that our sinful nature and the battle of the inner man that paul writes about in romans 7 is a profound and powerful mystery, but this simple quote is legitimate and real. raw… but real.
it is true of our parenting…our friendships…our marriages…our spiritual lives…everything.
you are the person you want to be. period. stop whining. stop complaining. stop wishing that you were different. stop making excuses. stop blaming others. and you are one good decision away from making a change.
either you believe in the god of second chances or you don’t.
this is one of the greatest quotes…and greatest truths…of all time.