Don’t Apologise For It.
Let’s face it, we all have a past, right? And if you keep looking back your vision for a better future will become so distorted you will end up apologising for every mistake you’ve ever made. Because while you’re waiting for a committee to permit you to become the person God called you to be, your confidence is going to slowly erode bit by bit, little by little over time until you’re not only apologising for your past mistakes but apologising for who you are.
Don’t apologise for it!
The pivotal moment, the hinge that swings open the door to your future comes when you realise that God can use all your stupid decisions, all your costly mistakes to help others see how God sees them.
Look at the Samaritan woman at the well in John chapter 4. She wasn’t just drawing water that day, she was drawing conclusions. Conclusions about Jesus and why He would be bothering to talk to her. Because of the shame of her past, she was forced to draw water from the well at noon. However, Jesus wasn’t fazed as He unapologetically asks her for a drink.
“Would you draw water, and give Me a drink?”
That simple sentence was the start of something big for a woman who had lived her whole life apologising for who’d she’d become. A serial bride whose mistakes were chained to her like a ten-ton weight that dragged behind her, as she not only lowered her bucket into the well that day but had lowered her expectations of ever hoping things would change.
And aren’t we the same? We have apologised for so long about our past that our expectations of Jesus ever saving us from it have lowered to the point of unbelief.
But when the Samaritan woman’s world unexpectedly collides with Jesus, everything changes. Not just for her, but the whole town. “I met a stranger who knew everything about me. Come and see for yourselves; can He be the Anointed One?” A crowd came out of the city and approached Jesus…they began their faith journey because of the testimony of the woman beside the well.’ Jesus broke through the culture’s customs and knocked down every wall this woman had built to protect herself, as His uncontained, unconditional love unchained this woman from her past.
And never once in the whole conversation did Jesus ask her to apologise for it. Never once did He ask her to apologise for her bad choices, wrong decisions, or costly mistakes. His love set her free from the shame and humiliation that had paralysed her for so long. Jesus was restoring everything this woman had lost, bit by bit, little by little, throughout the conversation.
This important conversation was going to be the hinge that pivoted her toward her future. Jesus already knew she was going to tell the whole town that she met a stranger who knew everything about her. Actually, He was counting on it.
And here’s another thought…Jesus didn’t erase every painful memory from the Samaritan woman’s mind either. He just covered them all with His love and used those painful memories to help her do what she was called to do, which was to become the first-ever woman evangelist – with no apologies!
So, let me ask you something, dear friend.
What sentence would change how you see yourself? What conversation would help break the chains of your past so you can run toward your future into the freedom Jesus died for?
The pivotal sentence that broke the chains from my past, the hinge that swung wide open the door into my future was this; “I have forgiven you, Wendy, so isn’t it about time you forgave yourself?” I was repeatedly apologising to God for walking away from Him and asking for forgiveness because I had walked into an abortion clinic when I was seventeen years old. However, that one sentence released me, it set me free, and like the Samaritan woman, I’m telling everyone about a man who knows everything about me.
John 8:14 says, “I know where I came from and where I am going.” I believe we know exactly where we came from. We have no problem understanding that fact. All the mistakes we keep apologising for staring us right in the face. But knowing where we are going? Well, that becomes a little fuzzy when we are perpetually stuck in our past. The enemy knows your past will keep you small, insignificant, and hidden. But one encounter with Jesus, one conversation can lift the veil from your eyes and see yourself as Jesus sees you.
So, don’t apologise for having a past.
I’ll say it again, DON’T apologise for it!
You don’t need anyone to tell you where you came from…
…but you do need Someone to tell you where you are going.
Has your past been holding you back from embracing the future God has for you?
I pray today that one sentence, one conversation with Jesus will help you to stop apologising for your past and break the chains to bring the freedom you’ve been searching for.