I was at a church service recently where a lady was giving her testimony. She was giving the example of the mistakes she had made in the past that had cost her dearly. We sat spellbound listening to how she had made terrible choices and the severe consequences that resulted because of her poor judgement. Then she asked if anyone else wanted to share. Crickets….LOL. Nobody was interested in airing their dirty laundry in public. We were willing to listen to more of her stories; we just did not want to share ours!
I thought about this after church and realized what had happened and why nobody wanted to speak up. It was actually pretty simple to understand. People do not want to think of themselves as Despicable Me. I do believe that personal testimonies are powerful to help people know the grace of God, but they can be opening a wound that you don’t want to have to relive.
Here is what I learned about Despicable Me:
- You will never have a healthy self-image until you learn to forgive yourself and forgive others. Forgiveness is the foundation on which you can rebuild relationship and restore your self-esteem.
- Don’t be a person that is always dredging up the past and glorifying the mistakes that were made. I am not saying this lady did that with her testimony, but I have known people who want everyone to relive the depth of their vile behavior that they used to live in, rather than glory in the grace of God and concentrate on what He has done with them since. Concentrate on the light, not the darkness.
- People don’t need to know the dirty details of Despicable Me. We could all write a book if we wanted to, I am sure. We all have skeletons in the closet, but if God has forgiven us, we don’t need to continually relive that memory. Let it go. Your testimony can be general when it comes to the past mistakes. Leave the details in the closet. God does not remember them once you have confessed them, so why should you?
- It has been said that sin takes us further than we wanted to go. It makes you stay longer than you wanted to stay, and it cost you more than you wanted to pay. So count the cost. Think before you act.
Because I have made so many mistakes in life, I do have a great perspective on what NOT to do…but I wished I would have thought about the consequences of the actions and relive that moment. The problem is, we do not have a time machine. All we can do at this point is learn from the mistakes….and don’t repeat them. I saw a sign the other day that said, “I don’t make the same mistake twice. I make it five or six times just to be sure.” LOL. Sadly, I can identify with that statement at various times in my life.
If you have that perspective of yourself as Despicable Me, please know that who you see in the mirror is not necessarily who you are. We are all God’s creation. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. If you know Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are adopted into His family. You are not an orphan. You are forgiven, and you are loved.
I am so thankful that God loves us, despite our despicable acts. His grace and mercy are sufficient. God gives us the ability to go beyond our ability. He can help memories that haunt us to heal. We just have to let Him lead us, and trust Him every step of the way.