I’m not the man I want to be and the man that I am is seldom who I want to be. We all seem to have this pervasive feeling that we have missed the mark and we want to be better, be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Our past sometimes holds us back instead of propelling us forward.
If you think about it there is a lot of talk about the past and things that we have done and wanting to forget the past. Here are a few examples:
LeCrae has a song called Used to Do it Too. This song talks about how he was someone completely different before he found Christ than he is after he found Christ. The tag for the song is, ‘I’m changed, now I’m something different’. There are many things that we used to do but once we get to know Christ we have to leave them behind.
Or how about Linkin Park… what I’ve Done. Again we have a desire to leave behind the mistakes and regrets of the past. We want to become something better. We want to be someone else. We want to leave behind our sins and have a second chance.
I think of that turtle on Kung Fu Panda. He says something to the effect of we don’t know what to future is and the past is the past (meaning it is over and done with) and the present is a gift to us.
I was recently turned onto the band Fireflight. On their newest album there’s a song entitled What I’ve Overcome.
BTW, I saw them on 2/19 at h2o church and it was ridiculous awesome.
The chorus to this song is:
If only you could see me yesterday
Who I used to be before the change
You’d see a broken heart
You’d see the battle scars
Funny how words can’t explain How good it finally feels to break the chains
I’m not what I have done
I’m what I’ve overcome
I think this song speaks to the true nature of what we all hope to realize and portray: we are not just a collection of mistakes. We are something bigger than that. We are these mistakes, but we are so much more. We are the lessons that we have learned from them. We are better people for having made those mistakes. We are not only who we are as we overcome the mistakes and heartache our past, we are who we are becoming.
My past doesn’t dictate who I am… it tells us where I’ve come from, but it tells us almost nothing about who I am or even where I am going.
Its a part of me… it adds up to the sum that is me, but it is not all of me.
God is the only source of true meaning and value. God is where we find who we are and who we are meant to become. We are God’s children and as such have access to being able to forget our past, leave it behind and no longer be shackled to the mistakes we’ve made. God offers us not only salvation and redemption but he offers to make us new… he offers for us to be born again, to be a new people who don’t have a past, people who start fresh living in the glory of who God is and the sacrifice he made through his son.
He offers everything we’ve ever wanted: be a part of something bigger than ourselves and to leave those old dirty selves behind.
Are you what you’ve done or what you’ve overcome?