“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”- Romans 8:1
“We can’t get on with our lives because we can’t get past the past. Instead of living in the here and now, we’re living back then and back there.”- Mark Batterson
In Chapter 3 (“Can’t Forget”) of If, Mark Batterson observes that, for most of us, our problem is remembering. On the other hand, a woman named Jill Price has a problem forgetting. Jill has a condition where she has automatic autobiographical recall of every day of her life since the age of fourteen. Jill describes what it is like to live with her condition in The Woman Who Can’t Forget:
“Imagine being able to remember every fight you ever had with a friend; every time someone let you down; all the stupid mistakes you’ve ever made; the meanest, most harmful things you’ve ever said to people and those they’ve said to you. Then imagine not being able to push them out of your mind no matter what you tried.”
Jill became a prisoner to her own memory. Similarly, Mark states, most of us are consciously or subconsciously prisoners of our past. We have feelings of condemnation, beating up and sabotaging ourselves. The self-defeating lies Satan tells us become self-fulfilling prophecies.
When this happens we define ourselves by what we have done wrong rather than by what we have done right. Or we focus on the hurtful things done to us instead of what Christ has done for us.
Jesus doesn’t write you off. Jesus writes you in. Mark concludes:
“Grace is the catalyst that turns guilt into gratitude (emphasis mine). One act of grace can turn the worst moment into the defining moment of someone’s life. You can be that agent of grace.”
Today’s question: How have feelings of condemnation made you a prisoner of your past following your vocation loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “A new creation”