Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
She ran from her past, but she couldn’t hide from it.
Frances and her sister lived with an abusive father. Their mother died when they were both very young. Their father molested them sexually and drank continuously. Finally, child welfare intervened and placed them with an aunt.
Frances’ restless spirit wouldn’t rest. When she was old enough, she joined the hippie movement and all the activities that accompanied it. She drank to excess, experimented with all types of hallucinogenic drugs, and traveled the country trying to find herself. Occasionally, she showed up to visit her old childhood sweetheart who still loved her dearly. He wanted to marry her, but she wouldn’t commit. She didn’t know it, but she was still running from her past, trying to make it disappear through unhealthy relationships and habits.
One day, Frances decided to put her restless spirit to bed. She called up her childhood sweetheart and proposed to him. They married, but there wasn’t any happily ever after—just happy. Drugs and numerous sexual relationships had presented her with a sexually transmitted disease for which there was no cure. She died shortly after taking her vows.
The apostle Paul gave the formula for putting our pasts to rest. It doesn’t happen through free sex, addictive substances, financial security, or through the hundreds of others ways I might try. My past is laid to rest through a relationship with Christ. Frances’ childhood sweetheart knew that, but he could never convince her until it was too late.
Knowing Christ through faith doesn’t erase my past, but He gives me a different perspective on it. The baggage of my past mistakes—self-inflicted or not, will always follow me, but it doesn’t have to haunt me. My past, present, and future mistakes and sins are immediately forgiven when I ask Christ to forgive them.
Who we are in Christ presently isn’t who we once were. Others may label us addicts, abusers, gamblers, or criminals. Christ labels us forgiven children. We may remember how terrible our past was, but Christ forgets it and gives us the ability to tell it goodnight.
If you’re in Christ, put your past to rest so you can get on with the present and future.
Prayer: Father, thank You for forgiving our pasts and giving us a bright future.