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Pointers along the way #235

Emerging from the past
- Jacob Ninan

One mistake which many of us make is to let our past mistakes or bad experiences hold us back or slow us down to various degrees from attaining to the full potential that Christ holds out for us. We tell ourselves that nothing better can come from us who have made such stupid blunders or demonstrated such terrible incompetence in the past. In effect we let our past unnecessarily ruin any chance of a perfectly beautiful future. This is a well used strategy of the devil, who trips us up at times, and then causes us to either lie there pitying ourselves in our guilt or drag ourselves forward with weights tied to our feet! One of the resolutions that we need to take is that by God's grace we are NOT going to let our past ruin our future.

First of all, do we imagine that all these great heroes of faith must have been some super men or women who never made any serious mistake in their lives? Ha ha! We just have to read the honest depiction that the Holy Spirit has given in the Bible about their lives. Those stories tell more about the grace and patience of the Lord than anything else! If they trusted in their own greatness they would not have become such heroes in the first place. But the thing is that they got up and went forward, whenever they fell, and scaled great heights by their faith.

We know that when we come to Jesus in repentance and faith, He causes us to be born again (1Pe.1:3). Our record is wiped clean, just as if it had never been dirty before (Is.1:18). Even if our record showed things such as fornication, idolatry, adultery, effeminate or homosexual behaviour, theft, greed, addiction to drinking or drugs, etc., He blots them out and treats us as if we are absolute saints (1Co.6:9-11). That is the power of unmerited favour from God! Can we not hold up our heads and look our Father in the eye boldly because we know that He has accepted us as His children? Hasn't He told us that He will never again hold our sins against us (He.8:12)?

When we fall or fail afterwards don't we have the right to go to Him, confess our sins and get our slate wiped clean all over again (1Jn.1:9)? The sins and mistakes that we make unconsciously (which we do not recognise just yet in order to confess) are also washed away graciously by our Father because He knows that we are trying to walk with Him all the time (v.7)?

Instead of letting our sins and mistakes drag us back we can let them become stepping stones to greater wisdom and understanding, can't we? We recognise how small we are, how much we need God, what things to avoid in future, what all to be careful about, how to be more gracious and patient towards others, how to be like signposts for the others, etc. All these things can work positively for our future, while we got fooled into thinking that people such as us can never make it! Let us put our faith in the Lord's mercy and grace and put the devil to shame!