Women with a Past

Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.  1 Cor. 6:11 (NASB)

I meet with many women who have things in their past they wish had never happened. Some of the things are minor, but quite a few of them are major things like adultery and abortion. These women live with tremendous fear of their secret sins hoping no one will ever find out. The guilt, shame and fear that accompany past sins can continue to eat away at the joy a Christian is supposed to have, as though a black cloud of doom hovers nearby all the time. 

Memories of the past arise unbidden, sometimes by the provocation of something that is not even related to the sin. The mind has an astonishing recall ability, and events that are painful and horrible can be felt with amazing clarity. Post-abortive women have described the sounds and smells of the clinic as though they were there yesterday, when in reality it has been decades ago. Other thoughts and powerful feelings of guilt and shame are so tangible women have been incapacitated with grief in my office.  

It is worse for those who have a person in their lives who are a continuous reminder of what they have done. The husband or boyfriend who encouraged the abortion, or living with the man with whom you committed adultery. The parent who verbally beats you over and over what you have done. Unfortunately, some husbands who know their wife's past use their knowledge to control or hurt them.  These men seem to delight in dragging the past into the present and use old and forsaken sin to wound their wife or to gain the upper hand in an argument. 

This is in direct conflict with Scripture (Eph. 5:25) but to some people that does not matter. Having control or getting out the last word in a conflict is more important than kindness, compassion, love, and honoring God. This is to their shame and it is disgraceful. 

If you are a Christian woman who has repented of her past, I want to encourage you by asking you to turn in your Bible to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.  Go ahead, take a minute. Read it, savor it, take it in slowly, and meditate on the words of God written to you. While you were once lost in darkness, in Christ you have been clothed with the garments of salvation and you wear the robe of righteousness (Isa. 61:10).

“Come now, and let us reason together, Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. Isa. 1:18 (NASB)

I too am a woman with a past, and I revel in the fact that I am washed clean from my sin, now completely purified by Christ for the glory of God (Heb.10:10).  

For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  Hebrews 9:24-26 (NASB)

You have been justified by the sacrifice of Jesus, your Lord and Savior (Rom. 5:1). You have been saved from wrath (Rom. 5:9) and you have no reason to fear. When God looks upon you, He sees you as justified in Christ, not as your old sin. 

My prayer for you today is that you would be encouraged by these truths. When you are reminded of your past, speak the truth: you belong to God in Christ and your sin has been separated from you as far as the east is from the west!