He did this so that we could be the kind of people the law correctly wants us to be. Now we do not live following our sinful selves, but we live following the Spirit. Romans 8:4 (NCV)

I don’t understand genetics. I’m not sure any of us do, but some understand far more than I do about what makes a person the way he/she is. For example, how is it that two people, born of the same parents can be different as night and day in personality, looks, and body shape/size? Or, how is it that a child, separated from parents at birth will have many of the same traits, likes and dislikes at their parents even though they have never ever seen them? These are just a few of the amazing things about how we are put together as human beings.

What’s even more amazing is how we can be ‘put together’ in Christ. We are born into a human body. We are influenced by our surroundings in more ways than we can imagine. The older we get, the more the effects of our past can dictate who we are and how we react to things in our environment.

Jesus came to give each of us a new start in life. Because of his grace and forgiveness we no longer need to be imprisoned by the things that happened along the journey of life.

“But,” you may say, “You don’t understand. I was abused as a child.”

“I know but” you may say, “my parents divorced [died, abandoned me, were drug addicts, are in prison,]. So that’s why I am the way I am.”

I won’t minimize the fact that life experiences have a huge impact on us. We are wounded, bruised and scarred by a whole variety of things. With Jesus in our lives those things that once were destructive influences on our ability to live free can be used for the glory of God. Because of Jesus we don’t need to walk as wounded any longer. That’s what grace is about. That’s what mercy is about. That’s what forgiveness is about.

Jesus Christ is well aware of your past. He sees the scars. He saw the abuse. He knows the feeling of being rejected. He came to free you from the effects of all the bad stuff that’s happened in your past. We no longer need to live the way we once did. God’s Spirit in us gives us new life through Christ. God’s Holy Spirit in us allows us to use the struggles of our past to strengthen those who are hurting.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, my past continues to haunt me. I see myself becoming the very type of person I don’t want to be. I relive the abuse of my past on a daily basis. Forgive me once and for all for the mistakes I’ve made. Free me through your grace to leave the old life behind and live the new life you have prepared for me. Amen.

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