It's time to LET GO of your past and forgive yourself for EVERYTHING!
Colossians 2 says:
I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally.
I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments. For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong.
Freedom from Rules and New Life in Christ
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him, you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. n this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.
You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.
Do you ever feel less spiritually mature than others?
Have you ever planted a seed in a clear cup? If the seed was planted close enough to the edge, you would see that the roots would grow down first; then a few days later a plant would appear above the dirt.
When you took your first step of faith to trust Christ with your life, that was like the seed being planted. From this point, it's up to you and God to nourish the seed and let the roots grow deep (Colossians 2:6-7).
The only difference between you and your friends is that they have had more time to get to know Jesus. This is accomplished by springtime with him DAILY! As with any relationship, time together helps you to appreciate God's character and will lead to a greater love for him (2 Peter 3:18).
As Christians, we never get to a point where we are totally mature. Our love and appreciation for God can always grow deeper as he shows us new areas in our life with which to trust him.
CHANGE IS FOR THE BETTER
The Christian life is a process. Although we have a new nature, we don't automatically have all good thoughts and attitudes when we become new people in Christ. BUT if we keep listening to God, we will grow toward maturity. As you think about the events of the past year, what changes for the better have you noticed in your thoughts and attitudes? Change may be slow, but your life will change significantly if you trust God to work within you.
References: NLT Student's Life Application Study Bible Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.