Part 1 of 4 – Getting Past Your Past… Series
We have all made mistakes, and likely more than just a few. There are things in our past that we would rather not relive, but that we end up carrying around as an identity.
Jesus was the only man who lived an entirely sinless life. That means that mistakes are a common feature of human living; they are present in everyday life and can also be identified on the grand scale. In response to federal mishandling during the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort, George W. Bush stated, “Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.” He didn’t say he made the mistakes, or that mistakes were definitely made. If they did happen, the buck, though not the blame, stopped at his desk.
It is not enough to simply acknowledging that a mistake was made. We must surrender our wounds and hurts to God and allow Him to turn our mistakes into miracles, turn our impossible into the possible. God did not lead us to make these mistakes, but He does offer us a way to break the chains that bind us to them.
We’ve All Made Our Mistakes.
We Get Impatient. Waiting on God is trying, but his timing is always perfect. We make mistakes when we are impatient.
We Go Along To Get Along. We want to be accepted and this need for acceptance leads us to compromise our values. When we start pleasing people, we begin making mistakes.
We Make Our Idols. We put so much effort into shaping things (children, jobs, even God) to better serve our personal needs. When we start molding an idol, mistakes will be made.
We Wear Our Labels. Labels in this world are not from Heaven and they never fully define who we really are. When we allow labels to bind us, we continue to make mistakes.
Your Past Need Not Matter
The past is the past and there is no benefit in living there. Yet, we tend to collect the hurts from the past and become the walking wounded. Through the goodness of God, we can CHOOSE to leave our mistakes in the past and move forward with a new life in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Mistakes that we cannot let go of have the power to become a life sentence. They become the background noise in the soundtrack of life, holding us back from living the life we were meant to live. Jesus can heal ANY wound and forgive ANY mistake. You ARE free to accept this grace and move forward with the identity God intended.
Isaiah 1:18 (NLT) “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
A New God-Centered View of You!
But how do we move beyond the mistakes and hurts of the past? Live in the vision God planned for your life.
A New Name. You ARE WHO GOD SAYS YOU ARE. You are known by God, you are dearly loved by God and you ARE free from the condemnation of your mistakes.
A New Purpose. Surrender to the purpose God has given you. Build-up and support others. Cultivate a REAL relationship with Jesus. The only way to get to know God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is in the midst of the messiness of relationship with others.
A New Future. God has plans for your hopeful future. We must take our OLD mistakes and make them our NEW Ministries. Use your mistakes as a tool to ease another’s burden and as an opportunity for discipleship.
Mistakes, while nearly inevitable, have the power to set the direction for life, for better or worse. Choose to surrender those mistakes to the God-Centered life that was intended for you. It is time to be free of the past in order to pursue a better future. You are WHO/WHAT God says you are.
Act on your new name… Live your new purpose… Realize your new future…
Talk About It…
- What was one of your least favorite nicknames growing up? Why did you dislike it?
- What are your first thoughts regarding today’s topic? Please share with the group.
- What are some of the things that influenced your choices as a teenager? What influences your choices now?
- What negative labels follow your name? How have they influenced you?
- How should having a God-centered view of yourself change the way you see yourself?
- What new name would best describe your new life in Christ?
- Read Matthew 16:17-18, Jeremiah 29:11 and Philippians 3:13-14. What God-given purpose are you growing into? What next step do you need to take to embrace that purpose?
- How have you let your past limit God’s plan for your future?
- How can knowing the future God has planned help you overcome your negative past and labels?
- Is there anything in today’s topic that you would be excited to share with a friend?