21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. - Colossians 1:21-23
Looking back into our past can be difficult for many people. It’s hard to acknowledge who we once were without it pulling us into the pit. But it’s important to acknowledge Christ for what He rescued us from. If we don’t look back to who we once were, we fail to recognize all that He has done for us. Looking back should humble us and remind us of His amazing grace. If we are ever going to show others the kind of love, compassion, and forgiveness He has given to us, we have to remember from where we once came.
When Paul looks at our past, he defines who we were in three different ways. First, he reminds us “we were formerly alienated.” It’s important to note that Paul uses the word formerly - this is who we once were, not who we are now. To be alienated is to be separated by indifference or hostility. We were separated from God in our sin; we we hostility and indifferent. When we were living in our sin, we were living a life separated from God. We were left alone to fight the battles and to endure the hardships of this life. And we stood alone to die an eternal death, forever being separated from our Creator.
Paul also tells us we were in “hostile in mind.” The word mind in this verse is referring to the way we think. Our mind dictates our reasoning. Before we submitted our lives to Christ, our thoughts, our decisions, and our words reflected the lies of the world. We did not glorify God with our mind, so they were hostile toward him. The motivating factor in all our meditations and decisions was self, and we were hostile to anything that challenged us and the desires of our flesh.
Finally, Paul reminds us we engaged in evil deeds. Everything we did prior to submitting our lives to Christ is considered evil because our motivation was for self. We foolishly thought there was worth to what we did. Nothing we did was for the glory of God so nothing had purpose. It was all for naught, and it was all evil in the eyes of our Father.
Looking back and acknowledging who we once were can be painful. Some can end up trapped in their past when they begin to think on who they once were. They dwell on the things that they did or didn’t do, and they consider their failures without considering the rescue of God. When we focuses solely on what we have done or failed to do in isolation of God’s rescue, we fail to glorify God by recognizing His amazing grace in our lives. This is how we get ourselves into the pit of despair. Our focus is on self.
Pail reminds us of where we come from because it is only when we take an honest look back at where we have come from that we can fully appreciate the salvation that Christ offer us. Don’t get stuck in your past. Whoever you were, wherever you came from, and whatever you have done, Christ has forgiven you and you are so loved. He rescued you because He has such great plans for you.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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