Yesterday, we looked at how Paul considered all of his worldly accomplishments garbage compared to the gift of having Jesus as His Savior. Knowing that, I’m almost certain that his impassioned letter to the church at Philippi was, in part, a response to a past that he wasn’t proud of. Though his previous transgressions were repugnant to him, his encouragement to fellow believers was to forget what was behind, strain toward what was ahead, and press on. You see, while it sounds crude, Paul understood that the only way to escape the stench of trash was to move farther away from it, and this remains true in our lives today. No matter how heartsick we feel as we consider our previous mistakes, because our Savior’s mercy flows like a fountain, we can receive forgiveness and continue on. Regardless of how unworthy we feel or how far beyond repair we think we are, we’re invited to take the Lord’s hand, walk forward in grace, and live in the unshakable promise that we have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. He’s the One who specializes in taking every human mess and turning it into something blessed!
My friend, don’t spend one more day beating yourself up over your mistakes. Everyone has a past, but there’s no sin you’ve committed that is great enough to separate you from the vast and far-reaching love of God. Though you may feel like you’ve let Him down, His presence hasn’t wavered, and He is able to take even your deepest regret and turn it into a gift that helps others. There’s a pearl of wisdom in every pain you endure, and as you apply each lesson learned, you inspire people to maintain hope, even in the midst of the muck and mire.