You’ve probably heard someone say, “Your past does not define you,” which is kind of true. It doesn’t define, but it does affect you. In this season of Spirit In Motion, we’re looking at “true lies.” True lies are things that we say that have a hint of truth but ultimately have been misunderstood.
In this episode of Spirit In Motion, Church on the Move Lead Pastor Whit George and Kids Pastor Adam Bush discuss the lies around dealing with your past and the statement, “Your past does not define you.”
The true lie with “your past does not define you” is that your past doesn’t affect you. That there’s no need to look at the past pain or mistakes because they no longer define you. We agree that your past does not define you, but it is affecting you.
“There’s a difference between looking at who you’ve been and identifying with who you’ve been.”
Everything we go through marks and shapes us, sometimes in good ways and other times in bad ways. You should be able to honestly address who and where you’ve been without identifying as someone who is still dealing with those things. There’s a difference between looking at who you’ve been and identifying with who you’ve been. You should be able to freely say, “I was an alcoholic because of ______” but no longer feel the weight of shame from identifying as an alcoholic.
It’s not about going back to live there; it’s about going back to get free. Jesus doesn’t want you to live there or stay there. He wants to heal you and deal with the issues that began there. He wants to look at the source of the problem with you. Many of us live with the same problems, the same pain points that keep coming up, and we’re unaware of them. So what can we do?
“You can’t be healed from what you’re unwilling to acknowledge.”
Allowing Jesus into the most painful parts of the past is the only way to be free. You can’t be healed from what you’re unwilling to acknowledge. But for some of us, it’s tough to explore our pasts on our own. One of the best ways to work through your past is in conversation with others. A counselor, a friend, or the people in a small group can help point out the patterns from your past that are still affecting you. Whit and Adam specifically mention the following as ways to find freedom from your past:
Who knows your story, your struggle, and your secrets? Not everyone has to know your story, struggle, and secrets, but someone has to know. We live under a mistaken illusion that “it’s my burden to carry,” and worship at the altar of “Lone Ranger Christianity” rather than recognizing the words of Jesus that says, “take up your cross and follow me.” We’re so unwilling to face the pain, be honest with people, and go to counseling that we end up not following Jesus fully. We miss out on the resurrection and freedom found in Jesus because we’re afraid to experience pain.
If you’re in the Tulsa area, here is a list of Christian counselors we recommend. If you’re not in the Tulsa area, we encourage you to search out a Christian counselor that can help you walk toward freedom.