Growth – when the past catches up with us

When we become Christians we have a new identity in Christ and a new power within, yet even as we sing songs that speak about what Christ has done, and the past being behind us, and the new life in front, the past seems to lurk in the background and from time to time stare us in the face, and pull us down.

We might counter it with some spiritual warfare – confess some scriptures, try and believe more, pray harder etc.. only to find its not working (dare you say it?!).

At such times we may wonder what’s happened, was my conversion real, we may even make multiple commitments because we feel we didn’t get it right the first time.

Maybe our prayer is “Over to you Lord, please change me…” and perhaps little seems to happen – what’s going on we wonder, doesn’t God care?

Observing life it seems that rarely does the Lord change us without us having to face what needs to be changed, that frequently means looking at the past as more often than not it is that that shapes our present.

Now there are some who would say the past is behind us and we should never look back – there’s a measure of truth in that, but not the whole truth. How many have maintained that attitude only to end up as cold and hard, and unrelational. Their Christianity is more of the head than the heart.

If you want to grow as a Christian you’ve got to allow God to get at your heart, your emotions, where the reality of life is really at work. The problem is that that is the place where your past kicks in all of its fallenness and your fallen responses to it.. disappointments, hurts, pains, broken relationships etc..

It may be that you are unable to change in an area because you are unable to face what shaped you and so that area is blocked off from God.

If you want to grow as a Christian and in your relationship with God the defences have to come down, the heart must come into it. God must be allowed into every area of our lives. There is no gain without pain. But he is the Saviour and Healer of our souls. As an old church Father put it, “the unassumed is the unhealed.” Praise God Jesus assumed it all, so that we could not only be saved and go to heaven when we die but so that we could be healed and enabled to live in the here and now.


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