We all have made mistakes in life, things that bring us shame, so the natural question for someone who wants to improve his relationship with God is: what does the Bible say about past mistakes?
I deeply believe you have come to the right place.
I want to introduce you to an idea that can change your story forever.
Let’s jump right into the Bible to find out.
What God says about past mistakes
Allow me to take you to a short fragment from the Bible, and from it, we will reflect on what it says about past mistakes.
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.
But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
| 1 John 2:1-2
It is important to keep in mind that the Bible generally calls “sins” what we consider “mistakes” (for the purpose of this blog post).
Like I started saying at the beginning of this text, we all have made mistakes, perhaps some more than others, but God has good news for us.
The answer to the question: what does the Bible say about past mistakes, is that God is always willing to take us back and give us another chance no matter what.
What God says about our past mistakes and what the Bible says about past mistakes is the same thing.
The message is simple: “come back and let us give it another try”.
How do I let go of the past with God?
Now, considering that God is always willing to forgive us and give us another chance, it is critical that we understand the steps we need to take to have a better outcome over time.
I would like to share with you six principles or bible ideas about what the Bible says about past mistakes and how to let go of the past.
#1 Focus on the real problem
Dear reader, the Bible often calls the mistakes we make, with which we cause harm to ourselves and/or others, sins.
Sin and Satan are the real enemies that are trying to destroy our lives, the sooner we understand that, the better.
We make these mistakes because we do not live in harmony with God’s will.
He has lovingly put before us the possibility of choosing for ourselves where to direct the course of our history.
He has given us loving advice and taught us the right way.
However, human beings, instead of choosing life, have chosen death.
We have chosen to direct our lives along paths that are in opposition to God’s counsels.
Therefore, we go through life against His will.
Tripping, mistreating, and hurting others.
In the vast majority of cases, the situation of the human being away from God is a growing pile of sad and poor decisions, which hurt us and those around us indefinitely.
That situation separates us from God.
He makes us run away from Him because we think we don’t deserve His help or love.
Perhaps because we think He is looking for us to punish or destroy us.
But that is not the case, like I said in the beginning, God truly always wants to take us back.
#2 Find out what you really need
When struggling with our mistakes, we may think that we need alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, another person, a relationship, vengeance, or anything the world can offer.
But that is a lie.
A great step in improving your situation and leaving behind the mistakes you have made in life is to understand that you need God.
You need to understand that you’re in a situation that you can’t fix yourself.
The root of that situation is sin, and the solution to sin is found in Jesus Christ.
The apostle John, in today’s short Bible text, presents us with the solution to our situation.
He shows us how we can start a new way by leaving behind our past mistakes.
The solution is simple, the solution is forever God.
#3 Value the cost of our new opportunities
In today’s scripture, we read that Jesus is “the atoning sacrifice for our sins”.
When trying to understand what the Bible says about past mistakes, we need to keep in mind that even though God offers his forgives freely to us, there is a cost that was paid on our behalf.
A sacrifice paid to redeem us from our mistakes and sin.
The image that John uses to present how God managed to help mankind, who was completely separated from Him by our sins, was using the idea of a sacrificed lamb.
In ancient times, when Jesus had not yet come to earth; God had asked the people of Israel for a very particular ritual.
The sacrifices of atonement.
An innocent lamb died instead of a deliberately sinful human being.
This happened to impress these persons’ minds by confronting them with the real consequence of their wrong decisions and actions.
Confront them with the consequences of living in sin.
It also happened because it was the representation that one day someone was going to take the place of that lamb once and for all.
It was a foreshadowing of Christ Jesus.
The eternal consequences of humanity’s sin had to be borne by someone perfect rather than humanity itself, so that we could be reconciled to God.
Try to imagine the tender scene of taking a small, beautiful, and soft white lamb in your hands and caressing its soft skin.
Listen to it.
Whoever, like me, likes animals, would perhaps gladly embrace it and enjoy the beauty of an innocent being like these.
Now, imagine with me that you tie that little animal by the hands and feet, put it on an altar and with your own hands you slaughter it.
You slaughter it because you must understand the terrible consequences of the sins you commit.
Face the stupor of death that causes those sins.
You must see it with your own eyes and experience it with your own hands in order to perhaps understand that this lamb should have been you.
In order perhaps to understand the consequences of your sin and, in coherence with that reality, try to live in harmony with the will of God.
This is what the apostle John is describing.
He is saying that you and I should have had the place of that lamb, paying with eternal death for the consequences of our actions.
However, that God Himself took your place and mine and suffered the humiliation and death that were our own.
The Lord Jesus, God who made himself in flesh, was that innocent, beautiful lamb who died in your place.
What the apostle John is saying is:
“Watch the horror of sin, the stupor of eternal death with your own eyes!
Look at what Jesus your savior, God Himself, suffered in your place for your sake.
Look at Him and understand the consequence of your actions and please understand that you don’t need to continue down the path you’re on.”
Turn back and embrace the welcoming invitation of God.
#4 Enjoy the new freedom you have in God
The Bible says that thanks to Jesus, we are no longer slaves to our past mistakes, we can move on and overcome them, building a better life with God.
You don’t need to be a slave to sin anymore!
You don’t need to be a slave to the same mistakes.
Jesus has already won! He gives you the strength to resist temptation.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, you no longer have to be a slave to your past mistakes, as you have been until now.
Now you can be free, you can choose not to sin.
Don’t be enslaved!
Still, you don’t have to be a slave to perfectionism, either.
If you ever commit a sin, you can rest in Christ knowing that if you repent, he will be right there to help you get up and try again.
#5 Remember the ever-forgiving heart of God
What the Bible says about past mistakes is that we have an ever-forgiving father, always willing to take us back.
Whenever we sin, we feel like we need to hide from God or run away from Him, but we should never do that.
Instead, we need to run right towards His wide open arms.
How much He loves us, yet sinners, laymen as we have become, Jesus accepts us and intercedes for us.
Because it says if anyone sins, and refers to doing so voluntarily and deliberately.
If anyone gets to do it!
The Lord Jesus is immediately interceding for him before the Father.
Even before you repent of your sin, Jesus is already saying, “Father I died for him, help him, give him another chance.”
The verse does not say, if anyone sins and repents, then he has before the Father an intercessor, Jesus Christ, the Righteous.
He’s saying, “Before you repent, Jesus intercedes for you.
Get back up again!
As I write these lines, a Christian song plays that says, as if God were speaking, “you’re not so bad to lose my love.”
There is no place where we fall so low from which God cannot rescue us.
#6 Focus on your new possibilities
What the Bible says about past mistakes is that we don’t need to dwell on them.
That thanks to Jesus we can always have another try. This prevents us from looking at the past and encourages us to look at the future instead.
Maybe you’ve made the worst mistakes, and now you’ve turned your life into a mess.
There is still hope for you if you accept Jesus as your savior.
If you accept God’s gift of love in Christ Jesus: eternal life instead of the death and eternal damnation you deserve.
The solution to all the mistakes of your past lies in one person.
The apostle says:
“He is the sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, and not only for ours but for those of the whole world.”
The Lord Jesus died not only for faithful, immaculate saints.
The Lord Jesus died for all mankind!
Even by atheists who mock Him.
Even by the murderers, even by child rapists, absurd as it may seem.
The Lord Jesus died for those who commit the most heinous and horrible crimes.
He died for those in the Middle East who slaughter Christians.
So that they could at some point raise their heads and see the cross.
The universal spectacle of his love.
Confronted with the gravity of their vileness and the infinity of God’s love, they will repent and renounce sin and accept their savior.
When considering what the Bible says about past sins, let us always remember that God is our loving father who is patient, and kind.
Remember that He is willing to help us and teach us, and willing to give us another chance.
That He has given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be reunited with Him.
Jesus died so that all of us would have freedom from the sin that dominated us and could enjoy the victory He won on our behalf, in our place.
He is the sacrifice, don’t sin!
But if you ever sin, as you surely will, get up!
He was already interceding for you, turn to Him!
As a closing remark, a great book to read about the question: what does the bible say about past mistakes is The mortification of sin by John Owen.
I hope this was a blessing for you.
What do you think? What does the Bible say about past mistakes? Share in the comments.