How do you handle your past? You know, that old you that seemed determined to continue the cycle of bad habits and bad decisions. Pride would lead most to simply dust their past under the rug and pretend it never happened. While Jesus Christ casts our past into the sea of forgetfulness, there is importance in taking responsibility for our ways.
There is a power we take back from the enemy when we hold ourselves accountable. Owning up to our faults removes the possibility of accusation from the accuser of the brethren. Being free in Christ loosens every chain of shame of a dark past as the only worthy judge forgives us. We receive liberation to walk and live in the way God desired. Freedom in Christ is a beautiful thing.
A great example of owning up to your past was Apostle Paul. Paul was the walking embodiment of "speaking your mind". He spoke critically of many but even more so of himself. Paul had the freedom to do so as he now held a clean conscience.
“And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.”
Though changed by God, Paul still had his struggles and there were times he didn’t even consider himself worthy. We are not worthy on our own but always remember that we are made worthy through Christ. Being born again is a process. Much like when we were children, we begin to grow all over again. Paul mentioned a phrase that greatly resonated with me.
“I am what I am...”
We come as we are but we do not leave as we are as the spirit of God moulds us. The old image of who we thought we were slowly fades away as the image of God takes shape. It is important that we not only let the old us go but understand why we did so they don't make a comeback. Paul never ran from his past. He stood up to it and overcame by the grace of God.
Taking responsibility is important but it should not mean that we judge ourselves. Simply confess before God so he can begin to heal us. Self judgement can often lead to self blame as we lean on our own understanding. An understanding that is flawed as we are human. If those who knew of and walked with Christ were both guilty of showing poor judgement, it should tell us something. This is why we are wisely advised to:
“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”
1 Corinthians 4:5
Until we are freed of our hypocritical nature, our judgement will always be harmful. When we are led by the Spirit, we understand how to help our brothers and sisters. We realize that we are to support one another, pray for one another and strengthen one another. Hold yourself accountable, empower others to do so and may we all be blameless before God.
Verses to read:
Ephesians 4:22 - 4:25
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world
Philippians 2:13 - 2:15
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.