Every morning we wake up to the same person we were when we went to sleep. And too many of us are unsatisfied with the person that we are. As a result we end up becoming victims of our own dissatisfaction.
As a result of our natural natures we become victims of our own addictions: wanting more of everything–power, glory, food, sex; you finish the list. The apostle Paul offers a much more satisfying life. He explained to the people of Corinth that while he was with them he would forget about himself and tell them about Christ. He didn’t talk about himself but about Christ.
“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:16
Surrounded by a culture that lives to satisfy itself, to whom can we go to stem the tide? St. Peter turned to the Lord.
“Lord, to whom shall we go?
From beginning to end, the Word of God is an invitation to find release from our own victimhood.
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
Past is Past
What has been done has been done. At times the Word of God might be a bit blunt about letting go of the past.
Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Jesus, of course, was talking to the people of His time when He spoke these words. But these words apply to us today. If you want God to be a part of all your tomorrows, then put your past in His hands and let Him lead you. He is highly qualified. His body was beaten, spit on, and then hung on a cross to die the most painful type of death. And He held no grudges. He didn’t waste a moment indulging in self-pity. Instead He did all this so that we might not have to pay over and over again for all the mistakes we make. His life and death sets us free to live in Him.
There is this old Scottish saying: “Confession is good for the soul.” Though these words are not found in the Word of God, God promises that He will help us let go of our past. We do that through repentance; it is the balm for our healing. Consider the words of King David.
“When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me”
He had seduced a woman and killed her husband to cover up his sinful acts. That is why David spoke the words above. It was only through repentance to God that David could be set free from his past.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
New Life in Christ
There are two stories in the New Testament where Jesus creates a relationship with someone and then tells them the following.
Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
He said basically the same thing to the woman at the well of Sychar. “Go and sin no more.” John 4:1-42. So what did He mean when we know we will sin daily and are in need of repentance and forgiveness? It’s all about a glorious new life in Christ.
We who serve God through the Spirit and who boast in Christ Jesus, have no confidence in the flesh–If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: For whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Paraphrasing of Philippians 3:1-11