Your Past Does Not Define You


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17

As someone who deals with a lot of anxiety, thinking about the past is something I spend way too much time doing. I worry so much about things I have done, and how they will impact people’s opinions of me. I have done some things that I am not so proud of, and many of you probably know the feeling. Shame can be so debilitating and can really separate us from God.

I worry that Christians will not fully accept me. I worry about sharing my testimony in fear that it will separate me from my peers. I spend so much time comparing my life to the lives of others, that it sometimes negatively impacts my relationship with God. It’s dangerous to measure your past up against your friends or family. This can lead to you feeling unworthy of Christ’s love or prideful about your own life.

I think that we should be focussing on learning from our past and seeing the transformation that God has put in our hearts, even when we have gone through a dark time.

It is so important to remember God’s forgiveness when feeling shame about our sins. When we accept Christ into our lives, we are made new. No matter how bad you feel your sins are, if you confess them to the Lord, He will forgive you (1 John 1:9). It’s so easy to get stuck or caught up in the past, but I encourage you to spend time looking to what God has taught you and how you can apply that moving forward in your life.

I think that remembering the past can be helpful in solidifying your faith. When I look back, I am reminded about how utterly broken I was. Even though I still struggle, my faith in Christ gives me hope. It really helps me to see how much I need Jesus. I never want to go back to the person I was, and I am so motivated to live a life that is pleasing to God. Instead of focussing on the shame, I am working on looking at my past and seeing the work God has done in my life.

I used to see my past as a time that God wasn’t present. It’s hard to see when you’re in the midst of it, but God is there through the good and the bad. In going through some difficult times, I can now see how much my faith has grown. I now crave to be in a relationship with Jesus, instead of seeing it as a chore, or something that I am just supposed to do. As much as I wish I didn’t go through that period of sin and self-destruction, I can see how God changed my life for the better.

I hope that this week you can remember how much God really loves you. See yourself as the new creation the God sees you as. Your past does not, and will never, define you. I hope that you will learn to see your identity in Christ, instead of burdening yourself with your mistakes.

Give any anxiety about your past to God; He will comfort you!

Reflection

1. What has God been teaching me about my past?

2. What anxieties or fears of judgment do I need to give to God?

3. Have I forgiven myself from the sins of my past? How can I allow God to enter in and give me comfort?

Prayer

Dear God, thank You for my story and that You have been present through all of my life. Help me to learn from my mistakes and to live a life that is pleasing to You. Take away any shame I am feeling, and remind me that I am a new creation in You. Help me to forgive myself as You have forgiven me. Be with me as I work through my past, give me comfort when I remember difficult times. Thank You for Your everlasting love. Amen.

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