A fact of life is that we will always be reminded of our faults and downfalls. We will always be reminded of our sins and the wrongs we've committed. The enemy uses this to get us down. The enemy tells us that we are unforgivable, that we are unworthy of God's love, and that we've already dug ourselves too deep into a hole, and it's too late and too impossibly difficult to get out and back on our feet.
The thing is, is that God made you exactly the way He intended to. He didn't mess up, He made you into the exact person He thought you should be. He made you 100% unique in every way, there is no one in the UNIVERSE that is like you.
You see, it's easy to tell yourself what you're not going to do in the future, but it can oftentimes be much more difficult to forgive yourself for what you've already done in the past. The enemy knows this, and uses this against us. But here's a little Christian secret... God doesn't look at our past! The ethic of the Christian faith is love, repentance, and forgiveness. When we ask for God's forgiveness, he gives us His gift of salvation. This means that he only looks at our present and our future. From this moment on, you can be absolutely pure in God's eyes! Cool, huh? :)
And if that's not enough, God won't let your past just sit there forgotten... Our past is what shapes the person we are today! He will use it for His glory! All the things of our past, no matter how shameful or awful, can be used to further God's kingdom. As a Christian, our past is one of our most powerful assets.
"For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God, I am what I am..." 1 Corinthians 15:9-10
Paul wrote this in his letter to Corinth. This quick chunk of scripture was about how he was "abnormally born." He had once brutally persecuted Christians. He was even present when Stephen was martyred, giving his approval of the stoning (Acts 7:54-60). God changed Paul, loved him and forgave Him. And Paul went on to do great influential things in the name of Jesus Christ.
Paul has been an enormous source of inspiration for me in my spiritual walk. And he was a human being, just like you and I. God can take anyone and use them to spread the Gospel. Once we truly feel God's forgiveness and we can forgive ourselves, our true potential can be unleashed! Those skeletons in our closets aren't doing anyone any good. They're dragging us down, and they're stories that could be used to influence and change others if they were put out in the open. Once we verbally share our sins with another trusted human, and we pray for our forgiveness, those sins become our testimony. And once we are forgiven and get our sins out in the open, the enemy can no longer use those sins against us. We can use it against the enemy!
For me personally, I had sins that I never wanted to share with anyone. I had no desire to ever let them leave my head. But over the years, they started to drag me down and constantly ate away at my conscience. As soon as I verbally shared my burden and prayed for forgiveness, I felt so free. Now I earnestly hope and pray that people ask me about my struggles so I can share my testimony.
Since then my spiritual growth has grown like I would have never imagined. I have been able to experience God's grace and His power in whole new ways. I pray that all my brothers and sisters are able to continue growing in these ways. I pray that we never feel like we have arrived, and that we are always hungry for more, and falling more and more in love with Jesus.
One of my best friends told me, "Imagine how different our world would be if we [Christians] all knew what we were really capable of."