True, it is important to learn the lessons of the past but, it is not good to get hung up on past mistakes. Forgive yourself and others and then move on. Strive to make better choices in the future. That’s really a key thing for living life in general right? Simply, do your best to make the right choices most of the time. One of the chief mistakes that we, as Christians make all too often is that we consistently beat ourselves up, condemn ourselves for non-Christ-like behavior. So many of us try to be too perfect and then become discouraged when we make mistakes or fail in some way.
God’s word tells us that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.” (NKJV) What does that really mean? It means simply that Jesus finished everything on the cross so live in peace. He forgives you so you should forgive yourself.
It is not right to simply use this fact as the “safety net” or rather as an excuse to willfully sin. Making continual choices to sin and know that God will forgive you anyway. That is not how it should be. There is a balance in everything. Walk in grace but, do not abuse it.
Romans 6:1-4 says, “1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life.” (NKJV) Meaning that once you accept Jesus Christ as your LORD and savior, your old self dies and you are a new creation! Isn’t that amazing?!
My pastor loves to teach simple truths and I love that about him. One Sunday he taught on this very subject.
My pastor used the example that when a caterpillar goes through metamorphosis and becomes a butterfly, people do not say, “Oh look, there goes a converted worm” – they call it by its new name, because it is a wholly and completely new creation. No longer is it a caterpillar but, now a butterfly, just as we are a new creation in Christ Jesus.
That is the best example I think I have ever heard to explain how we are made new once we become believers in Christ.
Once we have become a new believer in Christ, and begin our walk with the LORD, it is almost like when you get new clothes, you’re so excited to have the new clothes and you tend to be more careful with them as to not “mess them up”. Reading the instruction label on how to care for them in the wash etc… You are careful for a while but, then “forget” or the new thing becomes not so new and we stop being so excited or careful – just like our walk with the LORD.
When we are first saved, some of us go bonkers, completely on fire for God not knowing an epistle from an apostle but, still wanting to share Jesus with everything that breathes! Then over time, that fire diminishes and becomes more like a low glow instead of a roaring flame. Some Christians condemn themselves for that diminished flame and do not recover well – they may feel like they are lacking in their spiritual life or not truly walking with the LORD because they cannot seem to recapture that “first saved euphoria”.
We cannot help but “mellow out” over time and I think that mellowing is just a natural part of maturing as a Christian. I am not referring to mellowing to the point of needing to take your pulse, but rather a calm and gentle sort of mellow, a quiet confidence, which one can only develop by years of walking with and trusting God.
Even the most mature Christians do not always walk perfectly with the LORD. Paul the apostle writes to us about this in Romans 7:14-15 “14 For we know that the law is spiritual but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” (NKJV)
So you see, even the apostle Paul who walked with Jesus literally, still sinned, still made mistakes and in the scripture above, is writing about his own struggles in his life. So be encouraged beloved! It’s OK to make mistakes but, do not stay there! Don’t condemn yourself, forgive and move on. Seek to walk closer with the LORD daily and you will stumble less and less over time.
So my dear brothers and sisters, yesterday doesn’t matter. I encourage you to forgive yourself and others, learn from your mistakes, live, love and move forward leaving the mistakes of yesterday behind. Walk with God’s word as the lamp unto your feet illuminating each step. Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (NKJV)
I hope that you have been blessed and encouraged by this article today.
Blessings in Christ Jesus,
The Lord’s Lead Line