I was raised in a Christian home. It was a house rule that in order to live with my parents, my brothers and I had to attend church every weekend. I was home schooled until the age of nine when I then started attending a Christian school until graduation. I went to church camps, volunteered at church events, and even led a bible study for a while. I was basically birthed in church and never left the building until I was 18 years old.
Being raised in such an atmosphere, people usually automatically assume I never truly lived. Or that I didn’t experience any hardships. I can’t help but laugh at people’s reactions when they find out I was raised in a Christian environment and became a single mother at 19 years old. Nine times out of ten they’re shocked. Not shocked just because I was a Christian and a single mother. It’s always been more of a shocked look that they find it unthinkable that I was raised in church (or as some put it, a “sheltered environment”) and still knew how to have sex.
Even though I attended private school most of my life and was always at church, I still dealt with the same anger, guilt, bitterness, shame, unforgiveness, and condemnation as any other average human being. I still had to one day get on my hands and knees and give up to trying to do life my way and give into Christ’s way. I still made choices that had consequences. I lied, hated, and cheated.
After years of condemning myself for choices I made, I found myself bound to my past. I was so busy looking back that I was tripping while trying to move forwards. Being stuck on my past prevented me from having a future. The way I started seeing it was if I was going to remain chained to my past, then my past would ultimately become my future. What the heck does that mean? I remember daily replaying the things of my past in my head. Daily. I’d wake up every day thinking about the choices I made or the things that were done to me. The bible says in Romans 12:2 to renew your mind daily. If you’re reminding yourself every day of the things of your past, then you’re going to either stay stuck there, or create a future that is filled with the same guilt and shame that you dealt with in your past because you refuse to look at anything other than your hurts.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 it says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
This is such a phenomenal scripture that blows my mind away the more I read it. Reconcile has many different meanings, but ultimately it means to restore. Now re-read that verse and replace the word reconcile with restore.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who restored us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of restoration: that God was restoring the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of restoration.”
Can you not go a day without regretting a decision you made? There’s hope! You no longer need to be burdened by your past. God has restored us through His son dying on the cross for us. Because Jesus died for you and for me to be restored to God, He doesn’t count our sins against us. He’s not keeping tally marks every time we mess up. He doesn’t want us to be bound to our past. God wants us to be free. Instead of being bound by the past, let’s be bound by hope. The hope that God isn’t a dictator; He’s a restorer that has restored you and is patiently waiting for you to accept it.
So if God isn’t counting our sins against us, then why should we count our sins against ourselves? It’s time to stop replaying scenes of your past and start renewing your mind daily of what God says about you. You are loved. You are forgiven. You are restored. You are redeemed.