How Christians Should Respond to a Sinful Past
Written by Project Inspired | May 26, 2015
Last week we wrote an article about Josh Duggar, star of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting”, who came clean about some sinful acts that he committed when he was a teenager. We wanted to bring this topic back up to clarify some of the points made in our previous post and to discuss how Christians should respond to and recover from a sinful past.
He was wrong.
We want to make it abundantly clear that we do not condone what Josh did to those young girls when he was a teenager. His behavior was, without a doubt, wrong and it’s something for which he’ll have to answer to God, when that time comes. The point we were making is that we are ALL sinners. We ALL stumble and fall at some point in time. Does that mean we should turn a blind eye to those who do wrong. Not at all. However, as Christians, we should always try to come from a place of love and understanding, even in the face of evil. If you think about it, it’s very easy to get angry with someone and to hold a grudge. However, the real trial is in learning how to love, learning how to forgive and learning how to let go and let God.
Always remember that God makes NOT one mistake in life. If He’s allowed something to pass, you better believe it’s for a reason. It’s for some greater purpose. You may not always understand it. But guess what? Not every lesson is for you to understand.
Why not leave the past in the past?
A few of the comments that we received here and on Facebook posed a very good question: If this happened over ten years ago, why are we still talking about it? Well, this all came to light just a few days ago. As such, it’s very relevant and it’s exactly how things happen in our own lives. We may do something wrong, ask God for forgiveness, yet still have the issue come up over and over again. The devil tends to operate like that. However, he doesn’t have to win. We just need to realize that we all have pasts. We’re not perfect nor will we ever be. This incident from Josh’s past resurfaced and it’s destroying a family. That’s sad. However, this is a healthy conversation that should be had.
How should Christians respond to a sinful past?
Josh Duggar cannot turn back the hands of time to undo what he’s done. What he can do (and has done) is serve as an example for others who also carry the weight of a sinful past around with them. He’s repented. He’s asked for forgiveness. He’s turned to The Lord to make him a better person. Of course, none of that will erase what he’s done, nor will it make the lives of those women any easier. However, it is apparent that God is using him and his story to serve a bigger purpose. His story has awakened us to the faults in our leaders and has forced us to love and pray for those who have done wrong.
No one should have to carry the weight of their past forever, no matter how bad it is. God offers healing and forgiveness to all those who ask for it. He gives grace, and that is exactly what we should offer to those who are struggling with a sinful past. Yes, what Josh did was horrible. But, Jesus asks us to not hold grudges and to instead forgive those who trespass against us (Matthew 6:14-15). We ALL have a sinful past. We’re all sinners. However, we must learn to love people for who they are now, just as Christ does. Christ doesn’t look at our pasts and love us any less. He loves us 100% all the time, no matter what. We have to do the same, even when it seems impossible to do so. If God can recover and retrieve people like Josh Duggar from the darkest depths of their past and then forgive them, than we should strive to do the same.
“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” – 2 Timothy 2:20-22