“Your past does not equal your future.” ~ Tony Robbins
We have all made stupid mistakes. We have all made stupid decisions. We all have uncharitable, embarrassing, and downright disappointing things that we have said or done in the past. What differentiates one person from another in this regard is that some will not let their past go. They hang on to the disappointment or heartache or embarrassment and cannot seem to move forward. Our past doesn’t equal our future. Just because we said or did something “back then” doesn’t mean that’s the way we are now.
We’ve seen a lot of that happen over the past year in the political realm. How many times has the media presented something that a candidate did or said years ago, how a candidate dressed or acted years ago, the kinds of people a candidate hung out with in his or her youth? The past is brought up as if to say that is who the person really is now. In the eyes of some of these, for lack of a better word, smear campaigns, there is no room for growth or maturing. What you were is what you are is what you will be.
God knows who we were. He sent His Son to redeem us so that we could be someone else. There is a new future in store for us if we embrace God’s will and move ahead. Don’t allow the past to hold you down. Anyone can become a new person.
I learned that — I know I’ve shared it once or twice before, pardon me for doing so again — when I was a chaplain at Indiana State Prison. There were some people in there who had wretched pasts. Their lives were filled with deceit, dishonesty, and even murder. Some of them were the same kind of people. Others embraced the Lord while incarcerated and became different people. Would I trust them with my life? Yes. I would. They were no longer that other person.
It can be done. We do not have to be the person we were in the past. We do not have to live the way we did in the past. We can look ahead to a different future, a future filled with the light and peace of Christ that guides us toward the Kingdom.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God for the grace to let go of the things in the past that are preventing you from moving forward to the future He has in store for you.