Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. -Romans 15:7 (NIV)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. -Romans 8:37 (NIV)
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. -Colossians 3:13 (NLT)
I saw an inspirational graphic flow through my Facebook timeline the other day. It was from the TobyMac fan page, and it said:
NEVER BE DEFINED BY YOUR PAST. IT WAS JUST A LESSON, NOT A LIFE SENTENCE.
That’s one of those images that makes you nod in agreement, even when nobody’s there to agree with you.
Everyone makes mistakes…ones they wish never happened. But don’t torture yourself over what is done. We have a God who uses all of them to shape our lives and build us in a way that can show His work in us. He makes a way where there seems to be no way.
On the other hand, we can use those mistakes to let guilt and condemnation rule us from within, and from how others judge us. We can listen to Satan’s whispers, and other peoples’ shouts, in our ears to confirm we are hopeless. And we are…as long as we look inward and downward…instead of upward.
Our hope is entirely in the Lord, and just watch Him wipe your slate clean when you come to Him in earnest apology, confession, and repentance. Even though others may hold you to your past mistakes, know that you are forgiven and free. You may still have consequences to work out, but you can find God working even through them to refine and strengthen you.
You are a child of God. His fingerprints are all over you, are they not? Give Him your sin burdens and walk straight and tall once more, for we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us. And while you walk straight and tall, forgive and love those who judge and despise you. Christ loves us unconditionally, and we are called to do the same.
Your identity in Christ is a child of the light. Brush off the dirt and stop picking it back up again. Instead, put it under your feet, and keep moving forward, eyes on Him. Watch and trust in what He does with your life!