I’ve made a ton of mistakes. You ever wake up at night and think about a time you said something you shouldn’t have, or reacted in a way you know wasn’t right? Or maybe there are things that people have said about or done to you, and you just can’t seem to find freedom? I think we all have faced moments like this, and it’s really difficult to move forward. What’s even worse is there are often people in our lives who won’t let us get away from that past, even when we have grown from it. I remember for a long time, people I went to high school with I would see occasionally through college, and even a little after graduating. It’s sometimes awkward because they still remember a version of me that has changed. We all change and grow, yet somehow, bad days can start to define who we are.
I’m not saying that these old friends were mad at me for who I was, it just shows how the past can have a heavy hold on our lives. This is only increased in the ways we allow bad days to define the future. We can’t let that happen, as we continue to grow, we mature and change, mistakes happen and hurts hit hard, but that does not write the direction for the story of your life. I really love reading, and I always love stories with heroes facing challenges. It may be a superhero comic or a book about overcoming obstacles, there is always a moment where one bad moment happens. It’s a moment in the story where it seems as if the odds are too much against the favor of the hero, but there is always a choice. It’s a choice that we all have, to give up and become crushed by the weight, or to dig deep and find a greater strength to press on.
Last week, I wrote about Colossians 2:6-7, about how to live dependently on God, but today I have been struck by verses 8-10.
These verses say, “Make sure no one controls you. They will try to control you by using false reasoning that has no meaning. Their ideas depend on human teachings. They also depend on the basic spiritual powers of this world. They don’t depend on Christ. God’s whole nature is living in Christ in human form. Because you belong to Christ, you have been made complete. He is the ruler over every power and authority.”
When we choose to follow Christ, we begin a process of continual growth and change, we are no longer defined by the past or mistakes or bad days. This means that we should make amends for the mistakes we have done to others, as well as learn to forgive others. In Christ, we become new creations. We may forgive others who have not apologized for their actions, and forgiveness does not mean their actions were right; it means that you are no longer allowing their actions to be a chain on your life. We also have to realize that we may have hurt others, and we are called to love and make amends for that as well.
This is not an easy thing to do. It’s easy to say that we can’t let a bad day define our story, but to accomplish this it takes time and being connected to our creator.
I’ve written a lot about my life on this blog, and if you have followed me for a little while, you know that there have been some bad days in my past. Bad days brought on by sinful people, just like me. Recently, I had a bad day, I was trying to do the right thing, but was told how I wrong I was and how much pain I caused. That hurt. It hurt because I knew that this wasn’t something I had done, but also know the feelings were real to the other person.
All I could do in that moment was love as best as I could and apologize. That was a bad day for me. A day where I just felt like garbage and totally unworthy. The truth is, that was a bad day, but that bad day is not going to define my story.
Your life is a story being written. It is not being written by anyone else, it is your story written by a loving creator. We are all on a path, loved by a Savior and made complete in Him. That may mean certain characters in your story exit the book, and that’s okay. Press on and continue to love as best as you can. Don’t let one bad day define your story, you are worthy of love and have a powerful future being written by a loving Creator.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__