Your Past Does Not Have to Define You

Most, if not all of us, have something in our past that we do not like. No matter what you have done, you have an opportunity to start fresh. No matter how much you messed up, that does not mean that you must continue to be that person. Perhaps you only have one or two things you’d change. What I want you to embrace today is that whatever that was, it does not have to define you.

I made a lot of mistakes in my past. I was a victim, and I made bad choices in search of love or simply to try to fill up the void I felt inside. As I hurt, I hurt others. I bounced from one mud puddle of sin to the next. Most of the time, I would not even acknowledge my error. When I did, I told myself I’d do better next time.

One day when God had my attention, it was as if He posed the question, “You’ve been doing things your way. How’s it working out for you?”

It wasn’t. Once a victim of others, I had now made myself a victim of my own bad choices. I remember thinking, “I have made by bed. Now I will lie in it.” As bad as things were in my mind at that time, they went down hill from there. The next 4 or 5 months were really hard.

When I turned back to God, He gave me more than I had lost. Flashing forward just over 2 years, I was a happily married mom holding a newborn child. Obedience has its rewards.

Although it was years before God healed me, I recognize that it was in those years that I surrendered little by little. It was in those years that I came to know His love and compassion. It was in those years that I really became His highly favored daughter.

To the measure you surrender is the measure you’ll be healed. To the measure you surrender is the measure of grace and love you will experience.

And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
Exodus 34:6-7

It’s clear in Deuteronomy 24:16 & Ezekiel 18:19-32 that children are not punished for the sins of their parents. Moses is saying that the environment that a child is raised in has an influence over that child. Sins tend to pass down one generation to the next. If a parent is doing something, then the child is likely to pick up and do that also.

LIFE APPLICATION

I chose to break the cycle. Let the cycle stop with me as the love of my Heavenly Father out does any influence of family or the abuse I suffered over the years at the hands of my enemies.

How about you? Do you need to break a cycle? Stop and think about what you are doing. Is there any sin in your life that perhaps was passed down to you by your parents? Are you passing it down to others?

Either way, I encourage you to break the cycle. You are accountable to God for what you do no matter where the cycle started. When you surrender all to God, He will help you break the cycle.

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