Monday, January 30, 2012

Then and Now

Barb Harwood, photos

Thinking about our past as we lived it without God can be a cringing experience. I am completely embarrassed at the words I spoke and the attitudes from which I spoke them back in my unsaved days. How long-suffering people were to put up with my know-it-allness, self-assuredness, ignorance and self-promotion! I think back now and can’t even believe I was at one time that person.

And I haven’t even gotten to the non-speaking embarrassments that came in the form of stupid and addictive behaviors, obsessions and materialism!

Some people might say, “You’ve come a long way. Don’t beat yourself up.” Well, I’m not. Although I do cringe and feel completely embarrassed as I walk down my Heathen Memory Lane, I feel awe more than anything. I mean, I sit back, shake my head and chuckle at the amazing feat of God to rescue me out of the “dominion of darkness” and “into the kingdom of the Son He loves” (Colossians 1:13). I never get over the miracle of it all. It is sobering to think how far into the light of Jesus God has brought me. I know other Christians say the same. We are sinners, ever thankful to be saved by God’s atoning grace.

And lest any of us maintain sadness about our pre-Christian past or it’s consequences, we must go forth now in Christ as the new creation we are. Others may not believe our transformation and remain skeptical or uninterested; a few will not like it. Some people will not want to give us a second chance. But we steadfastly go forth in Christ anyway: always knowing that God wipes our slate clean, even if others don’t.

"Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess any transgressions to the Lord'--and you forgave the guilt of my sin." Psalm 32:5

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,…” Titus 3:3-6

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12

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