Humans. We seem genetically destined for failure. Early in our adolescents, our mistakes come in piles like dirty laundry we refuse to pick up even after our mother has yelled at us a hundred times. When we finally reach adulthood, the pile has become unbearable. Then the worst thing happens. We start watching those years ahead of us, we listen to their side comments and read in between the lines of their daily conversations. Learning that our mistakes never leave, they only add in number. The ones from our teenage years and early adulthood seem to haunt us even more. “Oh if only I had not done that in college and done this instead,” “Do not make the mistakes I did as an adolescent or you will turn out like me,” and on and on and on. Even worse, those poor choices we make soon become who we are. It is no longer “I did not make a smart decision,” but instead, “I am not a smart person.”
I was continuously condemning myself, letting my failures determine my steps…
So, here is my question… Why? Why do our mistakes consume us so? We so easily let them effect our identity, determine our fate and choose who we are to become. Will we ever have liberation from them? As humans we seem to think when we finally pick up that pile of dirty laundry, throw it in the washing machine, and add soap that it comes out dirty. Is it so hard to believe there is a way to clean it all? But no, the smell of dirty socks seems to lingers in our selective nostrils.
The past year has been a year of healing for me. Healing from my past. God has faithfully been showing me who I am in His eyes, who He created me to be. Through this, I have recognized the daunting control my past mistakes have over my life, actions, and thoughts. I was continuously condemning myself, letting my failures determine my steps, renovating more failures and creating disappointment within myself. He, graciously, has been setting me free from the mistakes weighing me down.
By always bringing up our faults we are sentencing ourselves to the very fate that Jesus has so graciously saved us from.
Throughout the New Testament, we are reminded of the freedom we have received from Jesus Christ. We have been forgiven and redeemed! If you have read the Bible and paid attention in church, this will be old news to you. So why, my friend, are you so reluctant to let go of your past and allow yourself to see that God has already fully restored you? By always bringing up our faults we are sentencing ourselves to the very fate that Jesus has so graciously saved us from. In the same why, we are creating a self-focused, self-pitying pride within ourselves. Where we become more focused on ourselves and lose sight of our Savior and what He has done for us. We inadvertently belittle God and the power He has to forgive and wipe clean our mistakes.
Here is a challenge for you, as well as myself: Stop letting your past control who you are today. Quit condemning yourself back into the life you lived before. When you are tempted to step back into the shell of your old self, run to the word and read how Jesus died on the cross for you, to forgive you. When you start allowing yourself to correlate your choices of today with mistakes from the past, pray and ask God to remind and confirm in you that your life is no longer enslaved to former sins and decisions. Do not identity your character with what you have done, instead declare who God has created you to be. You truly, truly have been set free. Now, go live like it.