One of the most important and hardest things to do as a Christian, is to understand that in order to get past your past, you have to embrace it. One cannot go forward unless you take your past with you at all times. Coming to Christ and joining the family of believers, requires confession, admission and the recognition of the sinner in you. The process of salvation, I believe, began with John 3:16. Christ’s sacrifice was indeed to save us from ourselves. That means He died to save you from you; not the sanitized version of who you’d like to be seen as, but the real you, the one looking back at you in the mirror.
A real man or woman of faith has been through some stuff they aren’t particularly proud of. If the truth be told, most honest Christians will share their faith with you from their particular experiences. They will testify readily from a perspective of wisdom, gained from real pain, some self-inflicted. Their truth is based on knowing that God has been faithful to them in spite of the hell they’ve raised and the heaven they ran from. I know from experience and not rhetoric that God is good because God is God. My first class ticket to hell was earned and the devil was organizing the welcome committee, band and all. I wasn’t paying attention and that meant Satan wasn’t the least bit worried about me getting to where my actions, my ignorance, my stupidity was taking me.
Then, as most of us who finally get it, I came to know that,”If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 john 1:9. At first I wouldn’t accept this. I couldn’t believe anybody, let alone God, would see my flaws and faults and still love me unconditionally anyway. Wrong! It’s because of those same flaws and faults known as sins, that I can ask God for forgiveness and know that He granted this to me even before I asked, (see, Jesus Christ under crucifixion).
Now it is my job and yours, should you choose, not to try and bury my past for the sake of outward appearances. If I do that, then I can’t help anybody, who just might be going through some of the same stuff I did and who doesn’t believe there’s any way to find peace and a road map to eternal salvation. From one sinner to another, trust what I’m saying. No, better yet, trust God. Trust His love and direction for your life. The more I understand this, the more I realize it’s because of where He brought me from, that I’m able to see a little bit of where He’s taking me. He’s knows who I can be, even when I just can’t see it. It’s because of the stuff I’ve been through and the stuff I’ve done that I have to confess and exalt in the knowledge that I’m forgiven. There’s a certain amount of freedom in being true to yourself and to God. There is real joy in understanding the past as a prelude to a glorious future.
Remember the you in God’s rearview mirror, is who you used to be, not who you are today. Look at it this way. As a Christian, you can’t get where you’re going until you swallow where you’ve been. Now I know it’s a bitter pill to some of you. But, “Though your sins be scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:18-19. I know. Jesus is one heaven of an antacid.
May God bless and keep you always.