Shows Main Idea – I made many horrible mistakes in my past. God has forgiven me, but I cannot escape the condemnation, whether it’s from me or others who learn about my past. How do I get over my past? How do I respond to others? Should I tell them all the things I’ve done in the past?
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1 – Everybody has a sad past, but everybody should not talk about all the bones in their closets. Select those who you want to know your truth.
2 – Divvy your friends up into ever-expanding circles, with your innermost circle knowing the most about you.
- God knows everything about you.
- Your spouse knows more about you than any other human.
- Your children will learn more about you than those outside your home.
- You want to permit a few select friends like James, John, and Peter into your innermost circles.
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- The most perfect relationship you will ever have
- Leading your wife in intimate conversations
- How to build and enjoy a dynamic small group
3 – Every person is not mature enough to know all there is to know about you.
4 – It is unwise to tell your entire story to every individual, even every person in your small group.
5 – Jesus withheld the truth from His disciples, as well as the Pharisees.
6 – Wise parents incrementally reveal more and more truth to their children, e.g., the sex talk.
7 – The primary key is your motive: do you want to hide the truth, or do you want to live an honest, transparent life?
8 – Jesus had pure motives, though He withheld the truth from certain people (John 16:12).
9 – It does not have to mean you’re dishonest if you hold back the truth from some people.
10 – There are situations where people broadcast your actions to the world like Michael Vick or Tiger Woods. In such cases, you have to work through the negative side effects because you have no choice.
11 – Other times, only a few people may know about your past, and that is as far as it needs to go. (It is wise to have a close friend or spiritual mentor who knows a lot about you.)
12 – As far as condemnation goes, your biggest challenge is in your mind. You must learn the skill of defeating false arguments. Master my article, How to take every thought captive. You must flip the negative narrative in your life:
- Step One – Defeat the false arguments in your mind.
- Step Two – Find a few friends who will love you in spite of what you’ve done. These friends will actively encourage and challenge you.
13 – There may be times where you have to tell others about your past because it’s unavoidable:
- When looking for a job: You must persevere; the LORD will land you in the right job. His grace is greater than your past.
- When looking for a spouse: You don’t want to have an “oh, BTW” conversation with her after she falls in love with you. If your past is so terrible and it will affect how she relates to you, it is right to let her know. (Each situation is unique.) If she wants to continue with you after that, you may have found the right one.
14 – The main thing is that you must fixate on your real identity, which is who you are in Christ. David committed heinous sins, but he was known as a man after God’s heart. You hunger for God; make the LORD your pursuit and Christ your identity. When false arguments rear up, learn how to defeat them in the company of a few good friend.