Jim Shrimplin

Your Past Is Not Your Prison

America has a trend running through it’s veins. It seems that everyone is looking to play the victim. Here is how it happens. You wake up one morning and you realize that your life is all messed up. Nothing is going the way that you planned. You don’t own a house. You don’t have a white picket fence. You don’t have two kids, one boy and one girl. You don’t have a successful career. Everything that could go wrong seems to be going wrong. You wonder how you got into this mess so you begin to reflect on your past.

You don’t have a house because your parents never taught you how to handle your finances. You don’t have a picket fence because someone told you the American Dream is dead. You don’t have have two kids, one boy and one girl because when you were 14 someone called you ugly. You don’t have a successful career because a high school counselor suggested that you major in underwater basket weaving in college. You have decided your position or lack of position is not because what you did but what someone else has done to you. You are a victim. Your past is defining you. Your past is your prison keeping you doing what God called you to do.

Prison is not the place for victims. No, prison is the place for those guilty of a crime but your past has put in prison. You can’t move forward in life because your past screams, “You can’t do that!” You don’t have the talent. You don’t have the this or you don’t have that. You can’t move because the prison cell of your past is holding captive, but your past was never to be used in this way.

How is your past to be used in your life? First, your past does not have your be your prison. Your past was meant to be your testimony. When life says, you are failure! You don’t own a house.” You respond, “I may not have a home in this life but God has a mansion for me just over the hill top. You don’t have picket fence. You don’t have the American Dream. You respond, “No I don’t have a picket fence and I don’t have the American Dream but I have a God given dream. I know that God is going to do something great in my life. When life says, “You can’t do that for God.” You respond, “Yes, I can because I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.”

When God is in control of your life, your past is not your prison. It is your testimony. You past is not to keep you from doing things for God. Your past is the key to unlocking someone else’s future. Your past, your testimony is someone else’s inspiration to follow Christ. Your past is to show people what God can do in their lives if they will let him. The problem becomes that we want to use our past as our prison to explain our future failures.

Today, I want to encourage you to not be a prisoner to your past. Give your past to God. Watch God heal your past. Watch God work out the bad things in your past and change them into God things. Watch God turn your life around. Then tell others what God has done for you then you will be able to watch God use your past to change someone else’s future. Don’t be the victim! Be the victor in Jesus’ Name!

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