I have learnt to trust my wife’s eye for potential. A few years ago I was helping to run a Discipleship School and of all the students that went through my wife picked the one who would be with us long term. She saw the potential in him and treated him like the person he could be.
When we first met him, he was a recovering drug and alcohol addict who wasn’t even a Christian. We took a chance and let him stay in our home for a while. He made some mistakes but we continued to support him. Today he is a young man but a mature Christian.
In Gen 17:5 God changes the name he calls Abraham, from Abram to Abraham. The change is from exalted father to father or many. At this point in the story Abram has one son, Ishmael. One son is hardly many nations. And yet that is how God treats Abraham. God relates to Abraham as he is going to be, not just as he is at present.
This scripture challenges the way I see people, particularly those who are new in Christ. So many come to Christ wounded, with bad habits and poor ways of dealing with their wounds. Do I treat them according to their wounded behaviour? Or do I treat them according to the people God wants them to be? What can I do that will help the Holy Spirit transform new believers into the image of Christ?