Sometimes I forget.
I forget the type of person I used to be.
But other times, I remember. I remember it well.
And for those moments when I do remember, those moments when things I’ve done or used to do replay before me, I cringe. I cringe in horror. I shudder in shame. I shrink back in disgust.
That person…was me?
Sometimes when we let ourselves be consumed by whatever we feel at the moment or let ourselves be molded by what surrounds us, we become something we never thought we would ever become.
By beholding, I became.
Sometimes I feel that person still inside me. My sins spread out before me like fresh blood on a white rug. They are all there. Thankfully they aren’t displayed for everyone else to see.
But I want to say this: Something I have to consistently remember is even though I may have done those things or were part of a certain lifestyle in the past, choosing to follow Christ is what helps me keep those doors closed.
I have chosen to leave it behind.
It’s all a choice.
Anyone who chooses to follow Christ is a new creation; old things have passed away; all things have become new ( 2 Corinthians 5:17).
If I were the same person I used to be, I wouldn’t be transformed. Dare I say, I wouldn’t even be a Christian. What would be the point?
Once we make a commitment to Christ, we are called to put off the old man and be renewed (Ephesians 4: 22-23), to be light bearers in a darkened world. To show there’s hope amidst what seems hopeless.
Christians hear and say this all the time, that God has an unconditional and inconceivable love for us. And He does. That love is there no matter where we are in our lives. He doesn’t love me any more or any less than he loves you.
We experience that love when we let Him into our lives. It must be an individual experience. I can sit here all day writing about God’s love and how He has changed my life. Though that can be helpful, only you can understand it fully when you experience it yourself.
Some more wonderful news is that God works in us to do good things, to change us the way we need and want to be changed.
The repercussions of my past actions are scars on my heart.
But I surrendered that part of me. And I have changed and will continue to change.
That’s the power of God.
People can say that the only reason I am different now is that I was driven to be different, and therefore can attribute those changes to the power I have within myself.
Oh boy, I can write another post about how false that is.
I don’t have that kind of power.
I do know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can overcome my propensities, practices, and habits that I know are dragging me down.
Every habit or practice that leads into sin and brings dishonor upon Christ must be put away, whatever the sacrifice.” -Acts of the Apostles, 312
When I made the decision to follow God (because I was so unhappy, broken, and miserable even though I was living with total “freedom”), there were some things I knew I needed to change. There were heartbreaking sacrfices I made. I questioned if the sacrifices were worth it and if it was even the right thing to do.
Was it worth it? I don’t even think I have to answer that. But I will. Yes.
So when I am burdened and stand in sight of my sins, I remember how faithful God is. I find hope in the promise that Christ will perfect our faith, perfect our characters. If we choose to serve God and let Him lead us, He will not lead us astray.