A few days ago I posted an old picture of me with a “Mullet” (Old eighties style hair cut) on my Facebook page. There were many funny responses form old friends and family about how humorous it was to see me that way. Clearly at age 41 (My Birthday was this past week) I have outgrown the crazy hairstyles and leather jacket faze of my former life. But it got me thinking.
Many times people believe there is no “escaping” their former life. They believe that they have acted or lived a life of such shame, that no one could possibly forgive or love them because of their past life.
That’s a lie.
If we look back at the writings of the New Testament, we can quickly see that Jesus’s chosen disciples (The men he trusted and invested in during his time here on earth) were far from well versed, clean cut leaders. They were mostly fishermen, tax collectors and so on. Not people who were greatly loved or had reached “superstar” status by any means. They were regular folk just like us. The only difference is, they couldn’t post their dirty laundry on social media like we can.
Who we were, or how we acted in our past can sometimes “haunt” or follow us for a long time. if we aren’t able to release the past, it can emotionally destroy us for a long time. I wrestled with this exact problem, and quite frankly still do sometimes.
The Good News.
You don’t have to be haunted by your past any more. Jesus offered to take your messed up life, and replace it with his. He sacrificed himself on the cross so many years ago for that reason. To erase your regrets and mistakes. No matter how bad they were. You can become new.
Here is what Paul the Apostle (Who had his own terrible past) wrote to the Corinthian Church about this exact thing;
2 Corinthians 5:16-20New Living Translation (NLT)
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
Note the highlighted piece of this scripture. Paul writes “The old life is Gone; a new life has Begun!! That means that all that drama and garbage in your past, doesn’t have to haunt you any more. Let it GOOOOOOO!
Our lives are too short to be consumed by all the mistakes we have made in the past. I encourage you, ask God to release them from you. Ask him to replace the bad things in your life with the with the fullness of his Holy Spirit. Then, accept it.
Accept that you are a sinner, have made terrible mistakes on your own and quite frankly can’t do it alone any more. He will replace your broken life with his.
Who you were, is not who you are.
What do you think?
Till next week,