Someone recently messaged us asking for a blog for those who did the hurting, the cheating, the lying etc. It really struck me that I have allowed too much time to pass without mentioning this. Why is it that we love to bash those who hurt us, but not point them to where they can go to grow? This may come as a surprise, but your ex deserves grace as well. They beat you up? Yeah they need grace as well. They cheated? They need grace as well. They dumped you after making you think they loved you? Yeah Jesus still loves them the very same way that He loves you. So this blog may not be for everyone, and I am sure that many who need this blog won’t even read it. But our goal is to help at least one person get restored back into who God designed them to be.
Here are 3 things to understand in regards to your past mistakes:
1. It does not define you.
Let me tell you something you already know: The devil does an amazing job at making us feel condemned. We all should feel remorse when we fall into sin and disobey God, but that should never define us. I am who God says I am, even if I am still struggling. You may have cheated, that doesn’t mean God won’t forgive you and help you next time. You may have fallen into sin, that doesn’t mean God sees you as a fornicator, liar, thief, etc. There is a difference between someone who fell into sin and someone who deliberately lives a life of sin. Are you seeking God for growth and change? Then good, keep growing. If you aren’t, then yeah you might need to stop playing ignorant to your struggles.
One thing I really love about the Bible is it doesn’t set an unrealistic standard on us. God showed us that He can forgive the messiest people, use the most ignorant people and not once does he mention that we have no hope because of a weakness. He shows us that He can help us in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). David was known in the bible as a man after God’s own heart, but David also did some things that no Christian should ever be doing. God could have easily condemned him, but David repented and continued to follow Jesus. That is what you need to do. Stop allowing your past to define you and allow it to push you to God for healing and restoration.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalms 51:10)
2. People will still talk, but you have to choose to ignore them.
One thing you must realize, if you haven’t already, is that sin has consequences. You may repent and receive God’s forgiveness, but some people will always view you as your past. Some people may never trust you when they know you always lied in the past. Your relationship may have no trust for awhile since you cheated in the past. Your walk with God can be on fire, but people will still remember how you had a baby out of wed-lock. Are people evil to see these things? No, but people aren’t perfect and we tend to focus on the negative very often. Should that hinder your walk with God? NO! After David sinned, you really would have expected him to leave his walk with God. He could have turned away. I know my shame would have been overwhelming, but he repented. He didn’t allow Nathan’s correction to cause him to run away in shame; he decided to get back on track. That is what you need to do if you fell. Get back up!
It is sad that we can sometimes receive the most judgment from people in the church. Sometimes that may be the only place you can go to gain some form of peace, but it does happen that you can be mistreated in the church. But that is not an excuse to leave the house of God. That just shows you how much we desperately need God in our lives. I remember being accused of doing something one day. People disowned me, talked bad about me and even told others to stay away from me and that was all because of a rumor that they heard. When they found out it wasn’t true or when they realized I didn’t let it push me away from God, many of them tried to become my friend again. I had resentment at first, but then I realized that I still had to show love to the people who treated me like an enemy. So God allowed that to show me their true colors, He showed me that I needed to guard my circle better and He showed me that I need to have boundaries so I do not place myself in situations that can lead to sin. Just like I allowed God to work on me, you have to do the same.
When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7)
3. God can use your mistakes for His glory.
God chooses imperfect people every single day. We can go through almost every single book in the bible and find someone who wasn’t perfect, but had a relationship with God. The bible makes it clear to us that God didn’t choose us because we are perfect, but He perfects us into His image because He has called us into a relationship with Him.
Creating a page called “GodlyDating101” was never on my agenda. Let me be the first to tell you that there are days I just want to end it all, stop answering messages, ignore the prayer requests and just stop this ministry. Then I realize this page is not and has never been about me. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of people that message us just to say “thank you” and how this page has helped them. I may never be perfect, but God is using this ministry to develop other believers into His image. My goal isn’t to live a righteous life just because I have a ministry, but to protect what God entrusts me with. But I do know that no matter how messy my past has been and how I may fall tomorrow, God is the one who orchestrated this to encourage others. Please understand you cannot stay down in your sin, you have to get back up and let God use you. There is someone out there that is waiting on your obedience to God.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. (Psalms 37:23-24)
If you are a person that has felt like there is no hope after how you have treated someone, I just want you to know that there is grace in Jesus. God can restore you. You can get it right next time. God can break that cycle in your life. Get back up again and keep seeking God.
Grace and peace.