Our experiences shape us and make us who we are. They don’t define us, but they refine us. That decision, however, is ours to make. To decide to remember the crushing fall, or what you learned from picking up the pieces and standing up again.
Remember all the times you encountered struggles and came out victorious. Remember all the falls and failures and how they made you stronger.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:3-5 NIV
Sometimes we get so caught up in how hurt we were that one time, or how bad we messed up then, that we completely missed how that experience refined us.
“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
We even sometimes unintentionally diminish what Jesus did on the cross by assuming we can’t be forgiven or move forward from what we experienced. We even tend to do this by holding resentment or choosing not to forgive someone else’s past wrongdoings.
But who are we to say that what He did on the cross wasn’t enough? Surely it was.
“It is finished”, He said. He paid the ultimate, painful price.
When we are too concerned with our past, we aren’t advancing towards our future!
If we have repented and changed our ways, then we are forgiven. Plain and simple. And if we have truly forgiven those who have done wrong against us, then there is “no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5).
Leave the past in the past, but remember that it is only because of His love, grace, and sacrifice that we can leave it there. We can leave the past in the past, thank God for refining us, and move forward for His glory giving testimony about what He has done for us.