You are not your past mistakes but maybe you’ve been living your life like you are.
And maybe you…
Walk in shame because of what you’ve done.
Self destruct as a way to punish yourself.
Cut yourself in an attempt to release your emotional anguish.
Didn’t believe you were valuable so you gave yourself away to someone who didn’t deserve you.
Put up with abuse for far too long.
Live outside of the boundaries that God set for his children.
Try to drink away your pain.
Live a risky lifestyle.
Got yourself addicted to booze or pills or drugs or men or porn or food because the momentary pleasure distracted you from your deep suffering or lonlieness.
You let an opportunity get away from you.
Your choices left your with unbearable consequences.
Lashed out at someone you love.
Hurt someone causing them to sever ties.
Someone died before you could make amends.
Spent more than you had.
Broke the law.
Lost it all.
Made a decision you regret and can’t take back.
Sometimes our mistakes come out of a need to survive and cope from someone else’s sins acted out against us. Trauma will often send the victim on a destructive path. Or maybe we didn’t know any different at the time. Perhaps, we did know better but chose to be rebellious. Maybe anger got the best of us. Sometimes it’s our own deep suffering that causes us to spill our baggage onto the lives of others because it’s far easier to deflect, or be catered to, or lash out than it is to address the wounds and get the help. Dealing with grief and trauma and anger is the hard, self reflecting work that nobody WANTS to do.
The truth of the matter is this; we’ve all made mistakes. We all have regrets. We all wish we had handled something or some chapter in our lives differently. Perhaps you’ve matured and grown so much since that time or thing that went wrong and you feel like an entirely different person. Maybe you’ve made amends, recovered, bounced back or you’re on a healthier path but there’s this one thing that keeps creeping back in. Perhaps it haunts you in private and causes you to still do things you regret or feel a certain way about yourself and you just can’t shake it. Does it keep you up in the middle of the night at times? Has it become so intertwined with your identity that it’s painted a story about who you are, one that leaves you feeling terrible about yourself and worthless? Has your low self esteem held you back? Maybe you even believe that you deserve the pain and the torment that you feel.
If any of that sounds familiar, then lean in and listen up because I need you to hear this; those things, those choices, those mistakes, those regrets and the things you wish you could take back or change but can’t; they do not define you because you are not your past mistakes. You are not the choices you’ve made or the regrets that you keep or the pain that you’ve caused or the harm that you’ve done to yourself or to others.
You are just human. And you, like everyone else walking on this earth, are a sinner. That’s the bad news I suppose. We live in this broken, fallen world where bad things happen. Bad things, bad circumstances, bad choices and bad outcomes are a product of this world. It’s a matter of fact and a consequence of the original sin.
That’s not the end of the story though because the really good news is this; Jesus shed his blood on the cross for you. He took your sin and your burden and your past mistakes and he shed his blood to wipe it all away. When you repent your sin and accept Jesus as your Lord & Savior, asking him into your life, you get a fresh start, a new life, a re-birth, a clean slate and an eternity in Heaven.
For this sinner, it’s the best news I’ve ever come to know. That I, someone who has made the worst decisions and done things I’m so ashamed to admit, would be made a new being, by no doing of my own but rather, because of the sacrificial love of Jesus. I don’t deserve it and knowing that I don’t and yet knowing what Jesus did for me, it’s the very thing that has changed my life.
If you have never repented and given your life to Jesus, it will be the first step to changing your life too. Once you’ve done that, chase after God. Read your Bible. Start at the beginning or start in the Psalms or start in the Gospels with the book of Matthew. It doesn’t really matter, just start. Stay in conversation and relationship with God through prayer so that you can better know who God is, drawing near to him and seeking his strength.
As you grow in your understanding of who God is, you will grow in your understanding of his love for you. As you grow in your understanding of his love for you, you will grow in your faith. As you grow in your faith you will grow in character. It’s an amazing transformation that is available to all and it’s available to all no matter what you’ve done or who you are or who you’ve been.
Maybe you’ve already given your life to Jesus and still find yourself trapped by your past. If so, don’t be so hard on yourself because it happens to the best of us. Being saved does not mean being without sin and it certainly does not mean being free from the temptation of Satan. We all fall short and slip up and allow the enemy to trick us into believing his lies. Repent and ask God to protect you from the lie that tethers you to the things that God has already forgiven you for.
Here’s the next bit of good news; God is the one who determines who you are. So, stop believing the lie that you are whatever your past mistakes have told you that you are and instead, start living your life with the knowledge of who God says you are. If you are in Christ then you are a new creation and set free so why are you letting guilt and shame and regret rule your life? Why are you living like a woman still in bondage to her sin? No friend, you are not your past mistakes. You are who God says you are.
A Child Of God
A Daughter Of The King
Wonderfully & Beautifully Made With Purpose
Rooted & Established With Love
Alive With Christ
A Citizen With God’s People
A Member Of God’s Household
Holy & Blameless In His Sight
Marked In Him With A Seal, The Holy Spirit
What God’s Word says…
Ephesians 1-2New International Version
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he[d] made known to us the mysteryof his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you,remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Made Alive in Christ
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[g] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realmsin Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Jew and Gentile Reconciled Through Christ
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.