All of us have a history and all of us have our respective futures. We cannot change the past but we have the innate ability to create our futures. For most of us, our past contains some good memories and some painful memories. We have made some wise choices along the way and also some poor choices. We have been treated kindly by some people and have been abused by others. The experiences of the past speak to us every day. Some days, we hear, “You’re appreciated … You made the right decision … You have so many friends and such great potential.” Other days, we hear, “No one loves you … You are a loser … You will never amount to anything … You have no future.”
How we respond to these voices from the past will determine our future. Throughout my walk, I’ve listened as people have told me of their distressing pasts. They speak of verbal, physical and sexual abuse …feelings of immense hurt, anger and shame. In some cases, we tend to blame the people who have hurt us and in others, we tend to wallow in self-condemnation. Some of us have lived with toxic resentment and have sought revenge on those who have hurt us. Others have turned their anger toward themselves … they blame themselves for all that has transpired in their life. Living in a perpetual state of shame with emotional blinders … afraid to let anyone know who they really are … reasoning that “No one would love me if they knew the real me.”
We were not created to live in shame. The amazing message from God is that He loves us and wants to heal our past, indwell His Spirit within us and lead us into a fruitful future. With those who have hurt us, we can release them … along with the residual hurts and anger … into the hands of a loving and just God because of the assurance that we can faithfully walk into our future freed from the pains of the past.
If you have been condemned or have condemned yourself for past failures or abuses, God reminds you that Jesus came to redeem us of our past, not to reject us because of it. You are free to enjoy the beauty of walking with God!