If you’ve been following my blog or if you’ve read my book, you know I’m not one of those Christians who pretend they’ve never done anything wrong. We all have a past, and at some point, we have all said and done things that God tells us not to. The Bible says we have all sinned (Romans 3:23) and none of us are righteous (Romans 3:10-12). We like to think we’re good on some level, but without Jesus, we’re nothing. Ronnie Freeman sings a song that says, “The only thing that’s good in me is Jesus.” That’s a profound statement, and no matter what we like to think about ourselves, it’s a very true statement.
God tells us in Hebrews 8:12 that after we come to Jesus and have been forgiven for our sins, he doesn’t remember them anymore. That doesn’t mean that God loses his memory. He says the same thing in Isaiah 43:25 It simply means that he doesn’t mention it again. He doesn’t hold our past against us.
Satan, on the other hand, does hold our past against us. He uses our past any way he can to hurt us and to keep us from moving forward. God forgives us, but he can use our past to bless others, both by their learning from our experiences, and from us using what we learned to help them. People can come to trust and believe in God when they see what he has done in our lives, the way he has changed us, and the things he has brought us through. That’s one reason why I tell people about my past. I want others to know they’re not alone in their struggles and that there is hope in Jesus.
Everything that has happened in my past has not always been bad. I’ve had many good things happen to me, lots of funny things, and I’ve had a lot of good, clean, fun times with my family and friends throughout my whole life. I guess I write more about the negative things because I can share the lessons I learned from them, but I want to find better ways to share more of my positive experiences, so look for more of those in the near future.
As I said in my last post, I left home when I was sixteen years old, and for about three years I did whatever I wanted to do. I did whatever I thought was fun and entertaining. I certainly wasn’t living a moral, nor healthy lifestyle. Like I said, I was very unhappy. I wanted to do better. I made several changes. One of them was that I started going to church again.
That’s when I met Jesus and gave my life to him. He gave me a new job that I really loved, with an awesome supervisor who was a godly man. It’s amazing how God can change a person’s life if we will just allow him too. Many of us are so self-destructive that we get in the way of God’s blessings. We want what we want and refuse to even consider doing what God wants us to. Jesus said if we will first seek his kingdom and his righteousness, then he will give us all that we need. I started seeing that in my life as I submitted my will to my Heavenly Father, and the joy in my heart was unbelievable.
I was still young and I still liked to go out and have fun, only now it was all good, clean fun with some of my younger cousins, and other young people from the church. I was really enjoying my life for the first time in years. We had services several nights each week. We had Sunday services, prayer meeting, prayer service, youth night, and choir practice, and many times we would go out to eat or take somebody home, or just ride around the town afterward.
My new job was farther away than what I was used to, so I had to get up pretty early to get to work on time. Some days I would be really tired by lunchtime. I was reading the Bible every chance I got so that’s what I would do while I ate lunch if I didn’t fall asleep. One day I was so tired that all I wanted to do was sleep during lunch. I had an hour, so I set my watch alarm and went into the sample room, and laid down on the sofa. As soon as I closed my eyes I was out.
When lunch was over and I hadn’t returned, my supervisor and the floater started looking for me. When they found me, I was still in a deep sleep. They thought it would be funny to wake me up by screaming and beating on the furniture. When I actually woke up, I was standing in the corner of the room holding my heart, and they were both laughing so hard they could barely breathe. As startling as it was at first, I’m glad they did it that way, rather than yelling and cursing, or firing me like some supervisors may have done. We all had a good laugh and went back to work. Thanks, Bobby and Al. I miss you guys.
Memories are funny things. They have the power to change our mood in a variety of ways. Some memories can make us sad, some can make us angry, and some can make us smile, laugh and bring us all kinds of joy. We should try our best to keep the good memories on top of the pile. They can help us to be happier as we realize how blessed we really are.
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