Your Past

I want to talk about the past.  A Supreme Court nominee has his character and credibility attacked because of something he may or may not have done 30 years ago as a teenager.  Whether or not he did what he is accused of, the situation brings up some interesting questions:  Does our past define us? Can a person change? How long must we bear the burden of bad decisions and impetuous actions?
Several years ago I served a church in a small town where I had previously attended high school. During that time of school I was in a severe state of rebellion against just about everything, having been forced to change schools for my senior year. I behaved badly. As I was talking to a church member, attempting to encourage him to return to church after some time away, he brought up something that I have done while in high school and made this statement: “I didn’t think preachers did stuff like that.” I was a lot of things when I was 18.  I was a human being, I was (and still am) a sinner.  I was immature and on occasion stupid. I was angry and hurt.  But I wasn’t a preacher. Yet this man wanted to define me at 33 by what I had done at 18. He did eventually come back to church and we were friends, but I was shocked by his response that day.
God had not only forgiven me for all this I had done and, most amazingly, had even forgotten what I had done (Isaiah 43:25).  In that same chapter He tells us not to dwell on the past. We are to deal with that aspect in two ways:  First, not dwell on our past so that it drags us down.  Second, not to dwell on someone else’s past, either. Perhaps there is something in your past that troubles you and makes you feel like you are a bad person or unworthy.
God’s promise to you is that if you repent and confess sin, you are forgiven.  It’s over and done with. Satan will try to accuse you about it and, honestly, people may not put it entirely out of their minds, but in the eyes of God you are white as snow. Praise God for forgiveness and second chances!
Bro. Tony