Are There Things In Your Life
That You Would Like To Forget?
If you are like most people, you are probably thinking of a list of things that you wish you could do over. However, finding the true meaning of love is not about forgetting the past. When we seek forgiveness from God, we have to let go of our past sins, but we should never forget the lessons we’ve learned from these experiences.
When mistakes are made and forgiveness is sought, it is important to allow yourself to feel forgiven, but not forget about the choices you have made in the past. Remembering the pain will help you stay strong in your convictions in the future. This may seem to be contradictory advice, but it is not. Receiving forgiveness but remembering the past is crucial to our Christian development.
First, it is important to understand that forgiveness from God is forever. Psalm 103:2 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Thinks about this for a moment: the east and west can never meet! That means that when God removes our sins, He removes them forever. We can never again be guilty of these sins. This is the miracle of grace: that even though our sins were terrible, God found it in His heart to send His Son to die for us. That forgiveness can never be taken away from us, no matter how bad our former sins were.
However, it is also true that the memory of our bad behavior will never leave us, and we should be glad this is true. It is important for us to remember what we have done wrong so that we do not repeat the same mistakes. For example, when Jennifer in the Parker Valley series became pregnant, she realized that her lifestyle had led her to some very poor choices. While she received forgiveness from God and discovered the true meaning of love, there were still consequences to her actions. While we may receive forgiveness, we must also remember that we are sinners and be vigilant against sinning again by remembering the ways we failed in the past.
One of the hardest things in the world for people to accept is grace.
God’s love and forgiveness are endless, but many people simply cannot accept the fact that God wants to forgive us our sins. In fact, many Christians stay mired in guilt, much like the Parker Valley sister Jennifer when she makes poor life choices. However, just as Jennifer discovers, God’s mercy is boundless and there is nothing we can do that He cannot forgive.
One reason that so many people have a hard time accepting forgiveness by grace is that we have been taught to believe we have to pay for what we receive. It is not in our human nature to accept that eternal life could be given as a free gift with nothing expected in return. Christ’s death on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice, but even if we believe this, we often think that we must do something to earn His love and salvation. We simply cannot accept that He might die for us just because He loved us enough to save us from eternal separation from Him. We fear that there is something we are supposed to do, something extra that must be accomplished in order to “earn” our salvation.
However, there is nothing we can do to earn salvation upon our own merit; we must rely on grace. Fortunately, God’s grace is a fact. John 1:17 says, “And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” It was impossible for man to follow God’s law perfectly. Therefore, God had to provide a way for us to attain purity and perfection in His sight. That way was through Jesus. Christ willingly took on the death of the Cross so that you could be saved, with no strings attached!
Don’t question this fact. The Lord is here to love and forgive you just as soon as you are ready to receive this forgiveness. God’s love and forgiveness will follow you forever, just as Jennifer learned in the Parker Sisters series.
Do you find yourself getting lost in a fictional story?
If so, you are not alone. Many people enjoy reading, but for some of us, losing ourselves in an imaginary story is the best possible way to deal with issues in our own lives. We find help, hope and guidance by studying the lives of those that never were. In some cases, this helps our minds to cope with some of the realities in our own lives. Finding help and guidance through fiction is not unusual or strange; in fact, Candace Mann, the author of the Parker Valley series of books, says that she wrote these stories in the hope that the books would inspire and help those who read them.
“Sometimes getting, lost in a fictional story is the best way to allow your mind to cope with some of the realities in your own life,” says Mann, whose Parker Valley series includes Parker Sisters: Sondra, Parker Sisters: Jennifer and her newest book, Parker Sisters: Claira. “I encourage you to read my Parker Valley series – Sondra, Jennifer, and the third installment – Claira. It is my fervent hope and prayer that these books will allow you to see that there is help and hope for the heartbreak in your life.”
While Candace Mann’s Parker Valley series offers help and guidance through fiction, there is also another way that we can find hope for desperate times. God’s word continues to reach out to us across the ages with its timeless message. Christ is our hope through life’s struggles, and striving to emulate Him and live a life worthy of his calling is the goal we should all have. When life gets hard, it is great to get away from our troubles with the help of a good book like the story of the Parker Valley sisters. However, seeking help through God’s word should also be our first line of defense when life gets difficult. Picking up the Bible should be our immediate response to all life’s problems. When you immerse yourself in God’s word, you will find that fictional stories like the ones about the Parker Valley sisters simply highlight the importance of living a life dedicated to Christ.
Will Rogers, a famous comedian, once said,
“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”
While we smile over this wisdom, we sometimes miss the point of the saying. Before we can fix anything that is wrong in our lives, we have to be willing to stop doing the things that are making us weak or causing our problems in the first place. No matter what our problems may be, if we do not stop, give our issues to God, and seek out help and Godly guidance we are going to slip further down the rabbit hole of pain and mistakes. Seek out a church, Christian counselor or trusted family member for earthly council, but continue to trust in God and pray to him for clarity.
In order to solve a problem, the first thing we must be willing to do is admit that we have a problem. Many people are not willing to do this. In fact, many people are unwilling to even make the smallest admission that a problem may be their own fault! It is so much easier to blame others than to accept the fact that we are not perfect. However, unless we are willing to admit our faults, we cannot take the steps necessary to correct them.
Once we have finally admitted to ourselves that we have issues, it is time to confess them to God. The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The first step in forgiveness is confession. In order to confess, we must be willing to repent. Repent comes from the root word that describes a man following a plow and working a field. When he comes to the end of a row, he turns the horse and plow completely around and goes in the other direction. We must be willing to leave behind our sins.
If we have serious problems, we may want to seek the help of a certified Christian counselor. Whether you rely on our Christian friends or a professional, finding God’s purpose for your life hinges on your willingness to confess and repent from your own sins.