In the middle of the summer last year, at around the time of the All-Star break in July, the Kansas City Royals had a losing record and were 8 games behind the leading team in their division. It looked like they were out of it for sure - like it was just going to be another long losing season. From then on, they went on an absolute tear. They got into the playoffs, into the World Series, and one game away from winning it all. This year they picked up right where they left off, finished with the best record in the American League, and went on to win the World Series in dramatic fashion a few days ago. From July 22nd of 2014 to Nov. 1st of 2015, the Royals had a combined record of 164-94. They are the World Series Champions and the best team in baseball.
So what changed? It was the same team for the most part. What made the difference for them? In a word - Confidence. They began to trust in their abilities and believe that they really were good players on a good team. And wonder of wonders - that is exactly what they became.
It's amazing what a big difference a little thing like that can make. A little confidence and hope can go a long way. This goes for us as Christians and our lives as well. It's so easy for us to get down on ourselves all the time because of our continual failings, or due to the guilt and shame that we carry around with us. But when we begin to see ourselves as God sees us in Christ, it can give us an entirely new and different perspective. As God's forgiven and adopted children, because of Jesus death and resurrection in our place, God now sees us as pure, holy, precious, chosen, and loved. He sees us as His own dear sons and daughters.
When we hear that good news, when we begin to believe it and trust in it, things begin to change for us. All of a sudden we're no longer so lonely or afraid. We instantly begin to feel a little stronger, a bit bolder, more confident and secure. And when we begin to realize that our relationship with God is taken care of, we are then freed up to look outside to those who are in need, to those we can love and serve in Jesus name.
When this happens - wonder of wonders - we begin to become like Jesus.
"I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." - Philippians 1:6