These two words don’t always fit together. I watched enough Law & Order, Perry Mason & Matlock to see a case built against the person who really committed the crime. Often they have to go back into the history of the persons life to see a pattern of behavior. There are many people who have some really dark stuff in their past that maybe hasn’t been dealt with and it causes problems in the present.
When I reflect on where I am today in light of my past, I’m amazed at the Grace of God. I am indeed a sinner saved by His Grace. My history has lots of dark spots in in, but I’m so thankful that my present and my future is filled with hope.
One of the major components in any relationship is to realize that all the events of my past actually help make me who I am today. In working through my human relationships there are things that have happened to me that I need to let go and try to forget about. Some of those things cause me great pain to dwell upon. The same is true in my relationship with my wife and children. Since none of them are perfect except me (:-/) it really hurts for me to bring back up the history of a bad decision that they’ve made and “verbally beat them up with it.”
As a country, the United States has some dark history that we’re not proud of. However, if we don’t remember the path that we’ve been down, we just might be crazy enough to repeat the trip. The next time down that dark path might just be more painful than the first.
I was ready the account of Stephen, the first martyr for his faith in the Lord. He really gave his accusers a history lesson from Jacob (the Father of Israel), to Joseph (who found favor with Pharaoh and saved the people from famine) to Moses (the great leader who led his people out of Egypt) to Jesus (the One and Only Son of God). Since Stephen was speaking to some of the same people who hated Jesus and were involved in the false accusations as well as his death, the mood changed from historical to hysterical. Check this out….51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” 54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. (Acts 7:51-58 NIV)
The truth is painful to hear sometimes. I believe that the situation with Jesus was still a bit fresh in the minds of the Jewish leadership and they wanted to kill any movement that Jesus had started. They didn’t realize that by being so hysterical, they were actually hurting themselves. They went from a history lesson by the accused, which was “spot on”, to hysterical because they didn’t accept the teaching of Jesus and the fact that God was now among them via the Holy Spirit.
I need to study the history of my life and reflect on how I got here today. I want to be open to the Lord molding and shaping my life into who He wants me to be. I want to be led by the Holy Spirit of God today, not stuck in the history of how I got here. This trap was destroying the religious leaders and they became hysterical. I would be wise to now look at my history through the lens of Whose I am today! It’s a totally different view from here!Pressing On! Dwayne