So I feel like all this week, the devil has been standing in front of me with a huge sign with all my labels. You know what I mean. The past I am trying to leave just there…in the past. But I can’t this week. For some reason, I am just getting beat down. And I know I’m not the only one.
I just found out that my friend’s son accepted Jesus as his Savior. And I’ve cried all morning.
What got me most was his momma. A sweet lady whom God has completely transformed over the past several years. In fact, her and her husband’s story is one of my favorites. But she openly shared on social media that she was a little intimidated to say anything about her son’s salvation because she was afraid people would call her a hypocrite due to her past. Honestly, I understand and ache over her dilemma. I can’t tell you how many times the enemy has taunted me with my labels … especially now that I have kids. Over and over again I am reminded of what God saved me out of, and I get terrified over what I may or may not pass on to them. What if they battle with clinical depression? What if they have crippling insecurity? What if they miss God’s grace and get hung up on legalism and perfectionism? What if…??? And on and on it goes.
I guess that’s why Paul said in Philippians 3:13 (NIV), “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” Paul had a past. He had the worst label (in my opinion) anyone can have: Murderer. I am sure as he ministered in different churches, he came face to face with family members of people he personally killed. I can’t even begin to imagine.
But remember…this is the same guy who said in Romans 8:1 (NIV): “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” How freeing.
Do I live that way?
So what now? Philippians 3:14 (NIV) has the answer: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Here’s what Paul is saying in Nicole’s Translation (how cool would that be? ha): I have the awesome God-given calling of being a parent. Being a parent is modeling the grace, love and forgiveness of my heavenly Father to my family. I model that by not only living out my daily walk with God, but also being His personal ambassador to my husband and kids. It’s messy. It’s hard. It’s so worth it. My kids don’t need to see a perfect me. But they do need to see a perfect heavenly Father. And I can point them to Him with my messy past and all. In fact, I think God’s grace shines the brightest against the backdrop of brokenness.
So when the enemy cripples us from truly celebrating what Jesus Christ is beginning in our children’s lives, well then, we just need to tell him where to go. We as parents have the opportunity to begin a new legacy in our children’s lives. We get to break the chains of years of generational sin that may have run rampant in our family of origin’s past. We don’t need to be ashamed of what God has saved us out of and what He is beginning in our children’s lives and hopefully protecting them from. We don’t need to fear our labels and hang them over our heads and theirs. This is our opportunity to be a catalyst of change in the next generation. Praise God that He gave us a second chance so that we can teach our children out of our mistakes and give them a chance at a different future.
All I know is our children are our lasting legacy. Not our pasts. Be a proud momma or daddy. Hold your head up high. God is working … and your life and your precious son’s or daughter’s life is testament to that.
And you know what, God is proud of you.