Clinging to our past is drenching, isn’t it? It keeps us from experiencing the fullness of the present.
Sometimes we just need to let go.
Perhaps it’s pride from past successes, insecurities that we’ve allowed to define us, pain from hurtful experiences, or crippling guilt from our mistakes.
Is there anything from your past that you need to let go of?
I’d like to share a little bit of my personal story with you, and why I am learning to let go of the guilt and shame from my past.
First, let’s consider the following scriptures.
“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:22-23)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 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 men’s sins against them.” (2 Corinthians 17-19a)
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
There is beauty in the letting go of our past.
The source of this beauty is God and his love for us, his chosen and dearly loved children. In his great grace, he forgives our sins and offers us a life filled with hope and assurance in what truly matters.
He wants us to let go.
My girls and I often walk in our local arboretum. Recently we’ve been enjoying the changing leaves and crisp autumn air.
I believe it reflects God’s grace. He paints the trees such glorious colors as they prepare to let go of their leaves. They let go of their leaves in order to sustain themselves through the winter, and so that they will be able to produce new life. I’ve been pondering this and reflecting on my own story, particularly a chapter I haven’t been able to turn the page on.
During one of our evening walks, I watched my daughters giggle and play. I soaked in the sweet thoughts my five year old was sharing with me. I gave recognition to the value and blessings in this season of my life, and I knew it was time.
It was time to let go.
If I was going to flourish in the here and now then I needed to let go of the old parts of my story that left me feeling insignificant, stuck, and unfit for kingdom work. I wanted to embrace the new chapter God was writing.
The specifics of my guilt aren’t really that important. In our selfishness, we all give way to sin. We all have reason for guilt.
Dwelling on our past or how we thought life was supposed to be is a useless waste of energy. We can’t go back and do things differently. We can however, look to our past and see how God has worked in our life. We can remember lessons learned. We can consider where God’s brought us, and look for ways to bring him glory here, in our current circumstances.
We can’t grow in the past, but if we let go of what’s holding us there we can grow in the present.
It’s easier said than done. Letting go of guilt is especially difficult when we are living in the consequences of our sin.
There may be other people involved, you might be dealing with mental health issues, regular health issues, or you might have suffered loss. You might have a cost to pay.
Through this, it’s important to keep an eternal perspective.
Yes, we have to deal with the results of our actions, but we don’t have to wear the shame as our label.
We can let go and grow!
Doesn’t that sound better than clinging to our past mistakes, and wallowing in our guilt?
Which response will cause us to be more effective for the Kingdom?
Life is certainly filled with hills and valleys and some people face more difficult times than others. These chapters are hard, but even in them we can serve the Lord.
The purpose of bringing God glory exists in all of our chapters, not just the easier ones.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
“Letting go” isn’t about forgetting all of our bad memories or ignoring what other people think about us.
It’s not even about feeling happy. It’s about letting go of our sin and guilt, experiencing the fullness of our salvation in Jesus Christ so that we might be fruitful.
So how do you do this?
Well, I don’t have all of the answers for you, but I know a good place to start. Fill your heart and mind with scriptures that speak of the assurance of your salvation. The above scriptures are wonderful ones to meditate on and memorize if you are struggling to release your guilty past.
Here is the truth, friend:
If you have accepted salvation in Jesus then God intends for you to live with joy and freedom. Without Christ we were headed toward death, but with him we are forgiven of sins, made clean, and headed toward heaven!
So let go of your sin and guilt, and live in the light of your eternity!
If you have not received salvation in Jesus and you would like to know more about God’s life changing grace then please reach out to our Creating a Great Day team. It would be our privilege to talk about the Gospel with you. 🙂