You may have met or have known someone who claimed to be a Christian but exhibited behavior that was very unbecoming of a Christian. You may have parted ways with them and have never seen them again. It’s important to remember that they are still a child of God and that, regardless of how they acted or what they said or did, God is or did deal with them.
People are constantly changing. We are never the same people today that we were yesterday. Therefore, it’s so important we do not criticize or gossip or talk poorly about people because we do not know how God has gotten ahold of them. When we gossip or talk about them, we are not breathing life into them, but we are sowing seeds of evil into their lives.
It’s so important we pray for them. Time and time again in the Bible, it talks about forgiveness and controlling our tongue. You can bet your bottom dollar that if you have ever been on the other end of this, been the Christian who was acting as if you weren’t one, God has gotten ahold of you, and you have since changed that behavior, the devil is going to pull out all the stops to bring it all back up and make you feel guilty and ashamed.
It’s so typical of the enemy to beat us down. To bring up past failures and mistakes. It can really ruin your day. You can be feeling great and on top of the world, accomplished and confident, and all it takes is one thought. One reminder of how you messed up years ago to make you feel embarrassed. The devil would have you believe you will forever wear the cone of shame. He goes to the throne and accuses you. You do not have to accept that. If you have repented and you have gone and sinned no more, it has been forgotten.
Don’t allow your mind to be the devil’s playground. You have power and forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ. You have been made new. Relish in that. Bask in that truth. You have been cleansed and no longer must walk in that condemnation. The book of Revelation talks about this.
Isaiah 43:25 also says, “I even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (NIV).
In Hebrews 10, it talks about Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice. He paid for our sins there. There is where His payment was completed.
Take captive every thought and hurl it right back at the enemy with a little extra pizazz added. I have been forgiven, and I am made new. I rebuke these thoughts in Jesus’s name. The enemy has no authority over me. I received and receive the blessings the Lord Jesus Christ has placed upon my life, and I received forgiveness. Get thee behind me, Satan.
Do not allow the enemy to put you back on trial. There is no double jeopardy here.
Micah 7:18-19: “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (NIV).
John 8:10-11 tells the story of a woman caught in adultery. When the Pharisees brought her to Jesus and put her on trial, Jesus says in verse 7, “’The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her’” (NIV).
When they knew that Jesus wasn’t playing around and the splinter they were trying to take out of the woman’s eye suddenly revealed the plank in their own, they took off. Then Jesus tells her:
“Go, and from now on, don’t sin anymore” (CEB).
He tells her to leave her life of sin and move on because He was not there to judge her. Jesus’s mission was to show the forgiving nature of God and His love and compassion. Not to point and condemn. Jesus’s message was to be a positive and encouraging announcement. He came to model the behavior we should emulate so that we are introducing to others the God we serve.
God is love. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that love is forgiving; it’s patient, it’s kind, does not envy, is not boastful or conceited. Let’s reflect the love of God in our lives and let’s take captive every thought and make sure we are forgiving right away and not allowing the enemy to have a stronghold on us. Let’s model Jesus’s behavior.
Featured Image by Tiago Bandeira