My past doesn’t feel gone. So when the preacher tells me that my past is washed away, that those things belong to a different person, or that God has removed them from me, I struggle. I still remember those things. I still suffer consequences from those things. It is hard to say that they are gone. The message is wonderful, but is it true?
One of my favorite stories about Abraham Lincoln is about a time, just after the end of the Civil War, when Lincoln welcomed a man into his office who had been on the side of the South. They talked and parted as friends. When others saw Lincoln’s openness to the man, they criticized him. They said, “Don’t you remember that this man was your enemy? You should destroy your enemies!” Lincoln answered in his simple logic, “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
Perhaps the most powerful way to wash away sins and overcome mistakes is to change their purpose. What once was meant for evil is now used for good. What once was stained like scarlet is now white as snow. If the evil of your past works together with everything else for good in your life, then that evil is truly gone.
You see, we do remember those things and why should we try to act as though they didn’t happen? Some of us live with consequences for the rest of our lives after the things we did. We are stuck with remembering. But our Lord does not want us to look back and relive the shame and guilt. He does not want us to place new accountability on ourselves when we remember. He wants us to know that we are forgiven and those things have been made new.
Please don’t misunderstand. I am not saying that sin is not evil. I am not saying that we (or anyone) should just go do whatever we want because God will work it into good somehow. Sin still has consequences.
But the Lord has taken the sins and errors of your past and has given them a purpose in your present. They have worked together to bring you here. Those things no longer bring shame and guilt because they no longer need to do that. Now they are simply part of the path you walked as Jesus brought you to Him.
Today you belong to Jesus. Today you are free and clean and victorious. Today you are alive. Live today!
Tell me what you think…