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September 1, 2014, 5:26 pm

Admit your past, then leave it there

One of the necessary requirements of being a Christian is the reality that in order to go forward, you have to take your past with you. I admit this is not an easy thing to do, but along with this truth is another one. Your past is past.

Coming to Christ and joining a family of believers requires confession, admission, acceptance and even recognition of the sinner in you. I mean, we kind of have to acknowledge our sins to truly understand the why of Jesus’ cross thing, you know, and God’s love thing for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. We’ve all heard it before. I’m just saying it comes with understanding the why, and the why is, we’re all sinners and will forever fall short. I’m just reminding you and me, that once the process of salvation takes root, one begins to understand that whatever you’ve been through, whatever you’ve done or had done to you is an integral part of God’s plan to bring the most out of you.

A real man or woman of faith has been through some stuff they ain’t particularly proud of. They will share their faith from the point of view of experience, wisdom, mistakes. They will offer testimony based on God’s tangible effect on their lives. Regardless of the hell they raised or the heaven they ran from, God is indeed good. I speak from experience and not rhetoric. My testimony is, I had a first-class ticket to hell and the devil had a welcoming committee there waiting, band and all. The devil wasn’t worried about my eventual arrival, because I wasn’t paying any attention to where I was headed. Then, as most of us who finally get it, I came to understand… “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and (to) cleanse us from all righteousness.” At first I wouldn’t accept this. I didn’t know how. I couldn’t believe anybody, let alone God, would see my flaws and faults and still love me unconditionally anyway. Wrong on my part. It’s because of those same flaws and faults and my acceptance of them that I can ask God for forgiveness and categorically know, he did before I asked. Now it’s my job not to try and bury my past, because if I do that, then I have no testimony, and without it, I can’t help anybody who just might be going through the same crap I did. There is hope and from one sinner to another, the truth is really simple. Trust me. No, better yet, trust God. Trust that he loves you and listen for his direction. Seek his roadmap out of what you’re going through.

The more I understand this, the more I realize that it’s because of where God brought me from, I’m able to see just a little bit of where he’s taking me. His belief in knowing who I can be far exceeds my own belief in who I can become. That alone suggests I’d be a fool not to confess my sins every day. There’s a certain amount of freedom in being true to yourself. There ought to be great joy in understanding your past is a prelude to a glorious future. It all begins with recognizing the “You” in God’s rear-view mirror. That You then points a spiritual direction straight toward God. It sounds simple enough. But as a Christian, please understand, you can’t get where you want to go until you swallow where you’ve been. … “Though your sins be scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:18–19.

May God bless and keep you always.