“It’s Not What Have You Done For Me Lately, But What Have You Done For Me Formerly”

September 6, 2017

As I was visiting with a friend this morning on my way to work, I couldn’t help but remember this advice given by a man whom I respect and adore–Rev. J.W. Harrell. 

She was struggling with a decision and seemed to be hyper-focused on the most recent actions to make her final judgment. That’s when this quote came to me.

“It’s not what have you done for me lately, but what have you done for me formerly.” J.W. Harrell

During our conversation, I reflected on what that quote means to me.

Often there is so much support, love, kindness, guidance, obstacles that have been overcome, water under the bridge, and life lessons that have happened long before the latest frustration, yet we can’t see it due to the black cloud blocking the light from our current status. However, we mustn’t dismiss that piece of the puzzle. In fact, it’s vital to be included in our resolution.

So, before making a final judgment, consider–what have you (or a group of people, or a system) done for me formerly? 

As I was chatting with my friend, I said, Am I guilty of reacting too soon? Oh my gosh, yes! That “red-headed temper” thing is sometimes way too REAL!

However, I do believe…

Life is a crazy balance of “holding on and letting go,” as Rumi quotes. And, while there are times we need to let go, we must be wise when taking the next step.

What have you done for me formerly? 


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