Define or Refine

After their loss to the University of South Carolina in the first game of the year Larry Fedora, the head football coach of the University of North Carolina, told his team that they could either let this loss define them or they could allow it to refine them. They had a decision to make. Well they went on to win 11 games in a row and make it to the ACC championship game. They allowed that moment to refine them and went on to have one of the best seasons in UNC’s history.

We live in a world where we are defined by how many followers we have on Twitter, by how many likes our post on Facebook got, by what people say about us, by how many degrees we have, by our job, by how many zeros we have in our bank account, by the clothes we wear, by the car we drive, by the house we live in, and all the fancy and expensive things we own.

We allow our circumstances to define us. We let the situation we find ourselves in define us. We have certain defining moments. We find our meaning in statuses. We find our meaning in awards and accolades. We find our meaning in promotions and raises.

Instead of allowing the moments in life to refine us, we let them tell us who we are. We allow our scars to prevent us from progress rather than letting them push us toward the stars. We don’t let our past die so it won’t allow us to live.

Why is this? Why is it so easy to fall into the trap of letting ourselves be defined rather than allowing us to be refined? The answer is because defining is a painless procedure while refining is a painful process.

Let’s look at it this way. When a person wants to make a pot or vase, they first take a lump of clay. They then mold the pot or vase into the shape they want it to be. Then they place the pot or vase in a furnace. This is what is referred to as the refiners fire. During this process of refining, every blemish or imperfection is burned away. When the pot or vase is taken out of the fire, it is in mint condition.

You see the process may be painful but you always come out better than you were when you went in. Instead of defining moments, if you allow yourself to go through the fire, they will be refining moments. Don’t let others define you but allow yourself to be refined. Don’t let your history define your destiny. Allow your past to die so your future can live.


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