Thursday, March 31, 2016

Letting the past go

The hardest thing for any person to do is to share a part of themselves that they have kept hidden away for a long time. There are skeletons that we keep in the closet because we are afraid of being judged, terrified of being demoted in their minds.

There are many Christians who live in the constant fear that their past wrongs will catch up with them, that they are not really forgiven for their past misdeeds. Our churches are filled with them; Christians trying to wipe out their past by filling their lives with religious activities. They talk right and act right but they tend to be the most bitter of persons. For people like this, the feeling that the world is moving around them while they are stuck in one place is one that they continually grapple with. To an outsider looking in on their lives, everything might look just peachy. Their lives always have something that can be tagged as successful. It might be the great work places they are employed in or that fantastic relationship that is the envy of their friends around them. It might even be something as superficial as the fact that they are physically appealing or have some gift that is highly coveted. But this group of people are the most unsatisfied. The constant feeling of failing at something dogs their footsteps at every turn. With each pinnacle of “success” comes a new wave of doubt and despair that they are not living at all.

These are the people who have been around church long enough to be changed, to have been changed, but who are the most unwilling to forgive wrongs. They take it to heart when things do not go their way and can be described as petty in their actions.

For many of them, it is not the absence of the desire to love and forgive and live, it is the absence of the life of God instead them. The bible describes them aptly In 2 Timothy 3:5 when it says that they are  holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. (Amp)

When we bring the fruit of our efforts to God and try to wipe the slate of our past clean with them, we are merely stalling our spiritual growth. How many of us truly believe that our past is forgiven? That our sins are truly wiped away? How many of us are still living as though we are trying to make up for the things we did and are failing miserably at it?  How many of us pray and fast and tithe and give and literally tick of the list of self-prescribed steps towards being a super Christian but still feel like we are getting it wrong? How many of us leave the tangible presence of God, go back into o the world and fall flat down on our faces at the first blow thrown at us in spite of the fact that we should know better?

Here is a truth that I faced recently and I pray that we all face in order for us to understand who we are. Many of us are involved in make overs that leave God out of the picture. We are so ashamed of who we were that we try to rewrite who we are into a more acceptable skin. But the truth is that each time we look into the mirror, we barely recognize the person we see.

When we deny who we were, we deny God’s gift of salvation. We deny God’s desire to love us whole. You see, God loves ALL of you. The miracle of his salvation lies in his ability to transform us from who we were to who we are truly meant to be in him.

God cannot transform you if you do not see the need to be transformed. Until you see the need for God, you will continue to work in your “self” and it will be a fruitless walk down the road. Transformation is one of the key features of Christianity that distinguishes it from other religions. I tend not to agree with people who say that your past has no place in your future. While I understand the context, I sincerely wish that more preachers would stress the fact that while your past does not determine your future, it does provide God with the much needed raw material he uses to make masterpieces out of us. That is if you let him and simply embrace his desire to love and use ALL of you and not just the parts that you might deem worthy. Selah.

John 8: 36- So if the Son makes you free, then you are unquestionably free.

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