About the Author

Stephanie Bryant is the co-founder of @incourage and a podcaster at the #JesusLedAdventurePodcast. She owns a Marketing & Business Coaching company. She is passionate about guiding you to your promised land and personal brand therapy. She enjoys spending her days with her husband and their miracle daughter, Gabrielle, on #BryantFamilyFarm....

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  1. This is such a great way to worship, Stephanie. To surrender our thoughts and feelings of a person and lean into the faith He gives us that He can do immeasurably more than we can imagine, even without us being fully engaged in a person’s life. It’s an exercise of faith and it honors Him. Great encouragement here!

  2. Wow, I feel like this post was written just for me! I really needed to see this! Thanks for posting. It confirmed all my thoughts from the other day. 🙂 God Bless!

  3. *Sigh* Yes, so often I put people in boxes declaring them forever “bad” or forever “good” based on long ago experiences. I’ve been convicted of this many times over the years.

  4. Such a powerful message in your post. It is difficult to keep an open heart toward those in particular who have hurt us badly or treated us badly or even been dismissive of us. We form judgements and retreat in protection. It is hard to not hold on to a “tiger never changes it’s spots” phrase. Perhaps it is our view of God that is also small instead of big, in that we so easily dismiss the hope of change in someone else. Thank you for your message.

  5. Wow, I loved reading this. God is so powerful and so committed to each heart …. even the ones we’ve written off as hopeless. I will for SURE be searching my heart today and asking the Father to reveal to me who I’ve written off. The challenge is to see people by the Spirit (from God’s perspective), be willing to share in His heart for them… and remember His commitment to them – that He’s not finished with them yet. Or me either, for that matter. Awesome, awesome, awesome post. Thank you!!

  6. I think there is freedom in freeing others from the boxes we’ve put them in. It frees us from resentment and bitterness, and it reveals the limitless power of God when we see those changed lives. You would think I would realize that, if God can change me, He can change anyone.

  7. When we pray for those who perhaps we have placed in a box labeled “hurtful” or “caution,” (though it can be extremely difficult to do) God changes our focus from ourselves, to Him and His purpose and love. Then, not only do others have the hope of freedom, but we do as well! God is speaking to me in a mighty way through this message! Thank you!

  8. Owwwwch…I do this far too often. It’s an unfortunate flaw. And others have done it to me, and it was very hurtful, so I also feel justified in my “storage boxes” which makes me even more prone to it. Someone from my past tried to tell my husband while we were dating how weak and needy and what an emotional mess I was. My husband, to his credit, stood up for me. But it hurt me. And I haven’t released that person from that yet. So I’m going to go pray now.

  9. Thank you Stephanie for your insight, transparency, and Holy Spirit filled touch to my inner soul. All morning I have been desparately seeking God for the answers to repeated discouragers in my life. There in my inbox was the direction God wanted me to review. As I surrendered to His Spirit, name after name popped into my mind of the people I was still believing had never changed and I held unforgiveness and judgment towards. Wow, how your Words, opened the opportunity to again Choose Jesus or Flesh. I bowed my head and began to listen to the Holy Spirit and prayed for each name who came to mind. Your visual of boxes with labels describes me to a tee. Thank you again for being God’s answer to the desparate plea of my heart for Him to speak to me. May God bless you richly as you have blessed me!!!!!!

    Cathy

  10. “Jesus reminds us to expect the transformation and keep on loving.” This statement sure stood out to me!
    When i think of the person I *was* back “in the day” I think I would have been the one many have written off as “The one that spiraled” out of control…or the annoying person with the insane family who was so self-absorbed. I wish I could say ALL of that has changed…but i can say that a LOT of it has and so I would not want to be viewed from the perspective of my past.
    And yet…how often do *I* box people up and mark them as a lost cause or someone I could “never” be friends with again. Sigh…forgiving is not as easy as I think when I am faced with the reality of “forgetting what is past”, you know?
    Thanks for this illuminating post!

  11. Loved this post! I too have boxed people. They hurt you so you want to “not be friends ever again-much less talk to them.

    I’m working on that in my heart & mind. I pray & ask God to forgive me for any unforgiveness I have hidden in my heart!

  12. At one time I was one of those written off as hopeless. God did do a wondrous work and transforming. God also taught me to look forward not back, in doing so past memories of behavior that was unpleasing even hurtful is seen in a new light of promise. Some in my past have not changed and it came as a surprise, for it was in hopeful anticipation of seeing a new creation in Christ, which met with disappointment. However, face a renewed challenge to continue to pray and hope for change in the individual, by the grace of God. Thank you for sharing.

  13. What a creative way to share how our flesh can tend to misplace our hope…may we extend grace as we have received! Thank you for sharing something I struggle with too. How great is our God, nothing is impossible with Him!