I used to be so afraid to tell people about who I was before Jesus got a hold of my heart.
I saw all of these Church-going, Spirit-filled, golden-hearted Christians around me and felt so much shame.
I thought to myself “They’ve never messed up like me.”
I believed I was the only person in my Christian circle that had a past like mine and I let the fear of my past keep me from sharing my testimony.
I was so afraid that they would think less of me if they knew who I used to be because I believed I was alone in my shame. I was afraid they would discount my gifts and my ability to serve the Kingdom. I was afraid I wouldn’t be included anymore.
But no one’s past is perfect. Even if it looks perfect to you, that person you are thinking of has struggled with sin. Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
No-one on this earth is without blemishes or mistakes they regret.
Lies of the Enemy
If you are thinking thoughts similar to the ones I had, I can tell you they are not from God. They are lies from the enemy. His best weapon is to use lies to isolate us & make us feel alone.
If he can separate us from our community, he can keep us from hearing encouragement and truth. He can tell us that God hasn’t truly healed or delivered us.
John 8:44 tells us that Satan is “the father of lies” and that “there is no truth in him.”
If you are believing things about your past that God does not say about you in Scripture, you are believing lies.
What God Says About Your Past
God’s word tells us that we are new creations in Him and that that “old has passed away.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
If we have accepted Christ into our hearts, our sin has been cast as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12)
If we have confessed our sins, He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from our pasts. (1 John 1:9)
Our sins have been blotted out, fading away like a mist. (Isaiah 44:22)
There may be some earthly consequences we have to deal with as a result of past mistakes, such as trauma, legal reparations, broken relationships, or losses. But our eternity is no longer affected by them.
Through the strength we have in Christ (Philippians 4:13) we can work to heal our trauma, serve our time, seek forgiveness in earthly relationships and restore what was lost.
If we are hindered by our pasts, we are the ones letting that happen. According to God, our past wrongs are gone. What we have to do is decide that we believe Him.
God Can Use Your Past for His Glory
God used so many people who had pasts that we would be afraid of sharing if they were ours. God specifically uses imperfect sinners because that is who He is trying to reach. God is using influencer marketing to reach you, friend.
If there is something in your past that you think disqualifies you from doing work for His Kingdom, then that thing is your platform. It’s your connection to other people who are struggling with that same thing.
Because of your past, you have a connection that others don’t. Because of your past, you have a ticket into the inner circles of imperfect people who need Jesus as much as you do.
God can use our pasts as a bridge to reach unbelievers. In the Gospel of Matthew, God calls a tax collector to leave his lucrative business and come follow Him. Tax collectors were corrupt people who were seen as traitors, but God used Him for the Kingdom anyway. (Matthew 9: 9-13)
Paul literally persecuted and killed other Christians. If anyone should’ve been ashamed of their past, it would have been Paul. Imagine if your pastor was once a murderer; this was Paul’s reality, but God used Him in HUGE ways for the Kingdom anyway. (Acts 9:1-18)
Rahab was a prostitute who risked her life in order to help God’s servants in taking the city of Jericho. She later became part of the Royal line of whom Jesus was a descendant. (Joshua 2; Matthew 1:5)
These are just a few examples of the way God uses people despite their past, and even uses the things that might bring them shame to reach the lost.
If He can use these imperfect people despite their pasts, He can certainly use you. If He can use their pasts to further the Kingdom, He can certainly use yours.
How Do You Overcome the Fear?
Read His Word.
The best defense we have against the lies of the enemy is the Truth of God’s Word. If we are regularly reading what God says about who we are, we won’t have any room for what the enemy has to say about us.
We all have thoughts and when we have Scripture memorized, that is what will come to mind when we start to believe lies. When we have truth hidden in our hearts, it makes it harder to engage in doubt and sin. (Psalm 119:11)
3 .Speak Truth
There is power in our words. (Proverbs 18:21) The people who say that you should speak affirmations and declare your goals out loud are half right. You should be speaking the things you want to believe out loud, such as Scripture or any prophecies or words of wisdom you have received.
Try physically saying things like “I am forgiven” and “I am a new creation” a few times a day. See how your perception of yourself changes.
Share Your Story
This one is huge. The best way to overcome a fear is to face it. When we step out in faith and share our stories, God blesses that and is with us the whole time.
It is scary to share your past with others. You may even get some negative reactions, but know those are from hearts that need the love of Jesus. Your story is powerful and it is needed. Don’t be afraid, for your God will be with you. He will strengthen you and help you to share your story. (Isaiah 41:10)
The best way that we overcome the fear of our pasts is to share it with someone else and let God use it for His glory.
Guest Post by: Ashley Harris
Ashley Nicole Harris is a coffee-loving, Christ-centered blogger + entrepreneur over at FaithfullyPlanted.com. She’s a wife to a seminary student + future Army chaplain and She is passionate about getting real, sharing her struggles and challenging other Christian women to achieve real growth & intimacy in their relationships with Christ. Grab her FREE 7 Day Bible Study and get started today!