We often look back with guilt at the decisions we once made, wishing we knew then what we know now. But while hard, we must learn to give ourselves grace for our times of ignorance.
There’s a time to be a child and we often make many foolish decisions in our immaturity and ignorance. And as adults we often look back and cringe at many of our early choices.
These might simply be embarrassing goofs, costly mistakes, or even decisions that actively harmed others.
For instance, there was a time when the Apostle Paul actively sought to harm and destroy those who followed Christ. And he did this fully convinced he was doing the will of God.
Hindsight is 20/20 and it’s only natural to feel bad about our earlier choices once we know better.
But we don’t blame a child for not knowing better. We hold him accountable once he does.
This doesn’t excuse our past, but it does remind us to look back with grace.
For example, Paul never downplayed his past, but he wasn’t burdened by guilt either. He lived instead in the grace and freedom of Christ who redeemed him.
And we can follow a similar path.
It starts by making the best decision we can at the time – a truly wise and informed decision and not one that merely allows us to do whatever we already want to do.
And as we grow and learn better, we do and become better.
To be sure, some decisions we get to correct, but with many others there are no second chances.
But either way we don’t have to beat ourselves up for decisions we made in good faith at the time.
We accept grace for our times of ignorance and live in responsible freedom today.
Be kind to yourself as you look back on the choices of your past. And remember, perfection is not required.