“We all have pasts. We all made choices that maybe weren’t the best ones. None of us are completely innocent but we get a fresh start every day to be a better person than we were yesterday.” ~ Unknown
The hardest lesson that I ever had to learn — actually, the hardest lesson that I am still trying to learn — is the fact that I am a fallible human being prone to making mistakes. Some of my mistakes/bad choices have been minor inconveniences. Other mistakes/bad choices have been whoppers. In the mind of a perfectionist, it doesn’t matter whether it is minor or a whopper. The mistake/bad choice itself is enough to bring about self-condemnation.
It can be incredibly difficult shaking oneself free from self-condemnation. The harshest judge of a person is always oneself. If we become bogged down in our mistakes and bad choices of our past, we cannot see a clear and bright future for ourselves. We think, instead, that we are doomed to repeat our mistakes and that we can never find forgiveness for things that we have said or done or things we have left unsaid or undone.
I often imagine God shaking His head wondering why we let these kinds of thoughts get stuck in our mind. God knows full well that thoughts of sinfulness, weakness, and condemnation are put in our heads not by Him but by the enemy. If the devil can keep us off track, he figures he might be able to win us away from God.
God does not want us to get caught up in our faults and failures. He wants us to acknowledge them and rise above them. He gives us all the grace that we need to do so. It is up to us to believe in Him, to ask Him for that grace, and to utilize it. It is there for us whenever we need.
We all have a past, yes. Some of us might have quite sordid pasts. But Jesus died for all, the most holy and the most wretched. God’s love is given freely to all, the most holy and the most wretched. Do not be afraid to ask Him for help. It is always given freely and abundantly.
FAITH ACTION: If you cannot let go of the mistakes of your past, ask God to give you the grace that you need so that you may look to a future filled with hope rather than despair.