The Bible is pretty clear on what God expects out of you. It’s also very clear on what happens when you ignore the Bibles teachings and when you respect them. I remember having a conversation when I was in junior high about forgiveness. I had just finished praying at lunch and a guy smirked at me. He told me that Christians were the biggest hypocrites because we believed we could just pray away what we did wrong and then make the same mistakes again. At 12 I had no idea how to describe how wrong he was in thinking that. Do you get to a point where your past begins to define you?
Do we get to a point where we are no longer redeemable? Thankfully, the Bible says no. Here are 6 ways your past won’t define the rest of your life:
1.) Learning From Your Mistakes
Despite what that wise 12 year old told me, prayer doesn’t work as an eraser. Praying for forgiveness does turn the clock back in a way but you also need to have the intentions to not repeat those mistakes. Not just aloud, not just in front of people, really truly never repeating the mistakes. God can see into your heart and will know if you aren’t sincere. Use every mistake as a lesson and move on from them without beating yourself up after you have repented.
2.) Your Past Prepares You
Along the same lines as learning from your mistakes, you past prepares you for what is ahead. God gives you every trial in your life for a reason, understand that and take the lessons you needed from them. You learn about yourself and the people in your life. You know better who to trust and when to rely on yourself. You learn about yourself in your faith. Remember these lessons because God gave them to you to prepare you for what he has planned next.
3.) Everything Is A Choice
You make a choice to repent and God give the next choice back to you. You can decide to change and never go back to that place again. There was a reason you asked for forgiveness, whether how the situation made you feel or how you made someone else feel. Give yourself permission to never return to that sad place again. After that, let go. You don’t have to carry that baggage into the next chapter of your life.
4.) See It In Context
Once you are separated from it you can see the situation in its entirety. You can see your full role and the role others played. Let yourself see your role in context. Some bad decisions and shortcomings are merely situational. Ask God to help you to never put yourself into the situations that bring out those sides again. It’s useful to give yourself a break and not blame yourself for the responsibility that others hold in the problem.
5.) You Don’t Need to Explain
After you have moved on you aren’t responsible to anyone for their own unresolved feelings on the matter. Once you have said sorry and are forgiven that needs to be the end of it. You are only responsible to God, stop explaining your actions to others.
6.) Make Better Decisions Today
The best way to change your life and shed your mistakes is to truly change your life. Make better decisions today to get you closer to the life you have imagined for yourself. Every single choice you make puts distance between you and what you are trying to leave behind. Make every single choice count.