I currently work for a company that designs women’s knits and woven apparel and sells wholesale to well-known retailers. I’m a part of the production team, and one of our many responsibilities is to keep a record of each style and all it’s history from the first concepts until it finally goes into production and is delivered to the customer. While our factories do their best to get everything just right and according to our standards, sometimes they make mistakes and send us submissions that are not up to par. Unfortunately, we have to reject less than satisfactory submissions and request a new one.
However, we keep a record of every rejected submission in huge binders so that we always have them to compare against new ones to see if they have improved or not. Those binders get extremely heavy and sometimes they even get so full we have to make a second one.
While the fashion production world works this way, God’s world does not. I mean, imagine carrying around a huge binder with all of your past mistakes? It’s sure to weigh you down. Yet, that’s exactly what many of us do.
If I’m honest, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes in my life. I haven’t always done everything right or made the right choices. The issue is, I used to attach those mistakes to my identity as if somehow what God said about me wasn’t enough. But, the reality is, my identity is in Christ and not in my mistakes. So is yours. I hope that the insights in the rest of this article will open your eyes to the truth of who you are in Christ.
God does not keep a record of your negative history
He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.Micah 7:19
We all make mistakes and we’ve all done things that we look back on today and aren’t too proud of. While it’s okay to feel some regret and sorrow for your mistakes, it’s important to move forward when it’s time to. God does not keep a record of your negative history. He doesn’t sit on his throne as you pray and flip through a book of negative things you’ve done, deciding whether or not to listen to you. If you are a Christian and you have given your life completely to God, every past mistake and sin is wiped away like it never existed before.
What if I sinned after becoming a Christian? Does God hold that against me?
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.1 John 3:9
The short answer is, no, he doesn’t hold that against you either. It’s true that as Christians we shouldn’t be practicing sin and we should be careful to guard our hearts from the many temptations the enemy will bring our way. But the reality is, many of us have sinned in the past. If that’s you, simply confess and sin no more. (John 8:11) This is just my opinion, but continuing to see yourself through the lens of your mistakes is sin in itself because you are denying the truth of Christ.
Holding on to your mistakes keeps you from walking in your purpose
Many people think that they are doing the Christ-like thing to continuously dwell on their mistakes. If God does not remember our sins (Hebrews 8:12), then we shouldn’t remember them either. Holding on to your mistakes can actually hinder you from walking in purpose. How? You start to think about all the reasons why you aren’t worthy or good enough and instead of stepping into where God has called you to go, you retreat. Honestly, none of us are worthy. We were all once sinners because we were born into sin and it was a part of our identity. (Psalm 51:5)
When we became Christians, we died to sin and became alive in Christ. We are no longer defined by our sin or our mistakes, we are defined by Christ.
Placing your identity in mistakes keeps you in spiritual slavery
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
I love this verse in Galatians. Christ has set us free, therefore, we should no longer subject ourselves to bondage. Many people think submitting to a yoke of slavery means going back to our old lifestyle and it does. However, it also means that we hold on to an identity from our past instead of embracing our true identity in Christ.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”Romans 8:15
So many of us women are enslaved in our minds because we are holding on to beliefs about ourselves that God did not speak over us. When we are enslaved in our minds, we can’t live out our fullest lives. God wants us to live fully free in him, instead of living in shame and fear.
If you are a daughter of Christ, live as a daughter of Christ. You are not meant to be striving for a position in God’s family, you already have one. Sis, you are not the sum of all your past mistakes. The slate has been wiped clean and you are free in Christ. It’s time to stop living in the past and embrace all Christ has made you to be right now. The truth is, you are free, you are loved, and you are redeemed. The enemy might try to tell you something else but believe me, none of that is true. You are who God says you are.
If you’ve recently made a mistake or fallen into sin, all you have to do is genuinely ask God for forgiveness and turn completely away from your sin. That’s all. You don’t have to hold on to it for months, beat yourself up for it, or anything else. If Christ has set you free, you are free.