Hey, churchy girl! You and I, we have something in common: A churchy language all our own. But sometimes religious words are confusing, not only to newbies but also to us. And this could be a problem.
Last week a young woman messaged me a churchy word question I’d never thought of. And she was right on target! Thought you’d like to eavesdrop, so here’s our conversation:
Dear Worthy Daughters,
I’m having a problem. When someone says to let go and forget your past, how does that work exactly? How can I completely let go and forget about my mistakes? Some of my choices from way back still affect me. Even though I’m a Christian, I don’t understand how to pretend they didn’t happen.
Thanks so much,
I must ask you, blog readers: Have you ever said something like “let go and let God” or “leave the past behind”? Granted, there’s nothing Biblically wrong with words like these. God does promise to handle our problems. He’s also big on guilt-free, fresh starts. (Praise the Lord for that!) But even a churchy girl can find this confusing.
Here’s my reply to Jess:
Hi, Jess! I see where you’re coming from. Christians often say to let go of the past, but you’re right: It’s impossible to forget what we’ve been through. From what I see in the Bible, though, remembering is okay. Many believers talked about their former lives (Paul, for example), which helped them appreciate and share God’s forgiveness and hope.
But for Christ followers, even though we remember our mistakes, we’re not haunted by them. God wants us to look ahead, knowing we’re free and clear through Jesus’ sacrifice. Now, does every consequence disappear the moment we believe? Sadly, no. But God is greater than even consequences, and He can use any situation—even the stuff that still hangs around—for His glory!
So when people say to “let it go,” they probably mean to move past the paralyzing guilt of old mess-ups and to embrace the promise of now. Hope is in the room; shame is asked to leave, and new life with Christ is good—really, really good.
Free through Christ from my not-forgotten past,
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