Is the past really the PAST

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Oncefallen

Idiot in Chief
Staff member
Jan 15, 2011
4,819
322
83
#1
Food for though. In Christianity we say that the past is just that, the past. Christ wipes away the past and transforms our lives if we let him. Obviously many Christians have testimonies that run along the lines of almost a fairy tale. "I grew up in a Christian home, got saved at 6, went to a Christian college, etc." Likewise some have testimonies that look more like a horror movie.

Anyway, the question for discussion is: how much do you take into account someone's past when making decisions about relationships this is assuming that it really is PAST, not recent. This assumes that the person is currently a strong Christian and has left the old life behind. Likewise, for those who have a past, how much does your past affect your decisions in persuing a relationship with someone who doesn't. In other words do you walk away because you think that someone who hasn't had a bad past could love or accept you in spite of your past


 
Jul 25, 2005
2,417
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#2
The past has a way of coming back to bite us. Yes, we must proceed forward with understanding, but something must be said for caution.
 

Ugly

Senior Member
Apr 19, 2011
20,502
509
113
#3
If a person shows to me that they are not still a product of who they were but are reasonably grown out of it, then i hold very little against them. I once had a friend whose past muddled in heavy drug use, a stripper, ran with gang members, was bipolar, a cutter (and i mean really cut herself), tried to kill her husband, tried to leave her husband for her drug dealer.. and who knows what else. She was still coping a bit with the bipolar when we started hanging out she was improving. She went on to be a great friend and one of the most sharing, helpful and caring people i have ever met. She was like a sister to me.
Also, my best friend during my teens had a bad past. Starting at 10 til he was 15 he drank, smoked pot, lots and lots of pot, haha, stole cars, broke into homes, tried to join a gang, was always getting into fights, and thats only the stuff he confessed to. He told me on a number of occasions there was a lot more in his past than he would ever dare to share with me. Yet, he was my best friend and we were together constantly.

Far as my past, yes, it still seems to stick its nose into my current business, but i do work at getting past those things and moving into a new and improved me. My friends pasts would sometimes rise up, just how mine does, but since they were working at improving it made more sense to help them through it than turn on them. Unless what they're doing is somehow detrimental to me, then why should what they've done matter to me?
If someone can't accept me for my past, then they can keep walking. I'd take a person with a bad past over a person who thinks they're better than people who have a past, any day.
 

Jullianna

Senior Member
Apr 21, 2010
12,810
117
0
#4
My profession has required me to spend time with folks who have had some incredibly rough pasts. I've come to understand that there are very few people who don't have SOMETHING in their past that they aren't terribly proud of sharing. I have seen tremendous compassion, wisdom, beauty and testimony come from many of those I would never have imagined to turn to God. A wise man/woman would, as Ritter said, proceed with caution, but we should never underestimate what God can do in someone's life, regardless of their past.
 

Stuey

Senior Member
Aug 17, 2009
892
4
0
#5
My profession has required me to spend time with folks who have had some incredibly rough pasts. I've come to understand that there are very few people who don't have SOMETHING in their past that they aren't terribly proud of sharing. I have seen tremendous compassion, wisdom, beauty and testimony come from many of those I would never have imagined to turn to God. A wise man/woman would, as Ritter said, proceed with caution, but we should never underestimate what God can do in someone's life, regardless of their past.
Was going to say something but no need. :)
 
Oct 7, 2011
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#6
I agree with Ritter.. understanding is called for.. but also caution. It also depends on what sort of past we are talking about, in some cases, and the distance a person has from said past. I ask myself: Is this person truly past this? Is it possible/probable for this person to fall back into old habits? Is the (insert past issue here) of such a scary nature that I feel comfortable being with this person? How is his walk with Christ? (This is what is the most important thing anyhow.) But yes.. everything in life should be approached with caution and a generous heaping of Godly wisdom.

I agree with what Jullianna said about people all having things in their past that they would hate to be in the open. This is very true!

And can I add that my testimony reads more like a horror story? But I am proud of it. God rescued me from some very scary stuff! I wouldn't be ashamed of a colorful testimony. God's grace is amazing! For example...Most of you probably don't know this about me, but before I was saved I was heavily involved in wicca and had begun dabbling in satanism... after a long period of childhood abuse. I may not talk about it a lot, but I am not ashamed that I came from that life, (and that stuff is only the tip of the iceberg) into a life of Sharing God's Glory with others! Woohooo!!
 
N

NodMyHeadLikeYeah

Guest
#7
Should the past stay in the past: No. I want to know who im in a relationship with. Our pasts are what has shaped us and impacted us and made us ultimately into who we are today.

For so long i let my past define who i was, and i became a monster. I let my past dictate my future, i let it tell me who i would talk to who i wouldnt, what i would be and what i would and would never do. I used it as a crutch, i used it as an excuse for all my bad behavior.
Then God entered the picture and he took all that filth and redeemed it. Now my past is not some tragic story, but its a testimony of the power of God.

If someone has truly been healed of whatever their past may have dealt them, and i see the fruits of someone who loves god and is healthy. I have no problem getting into a relationship with him.
 
S

StaceyLynn

Guest
#8
I have a horror story testimony, but also the kind that involves being raised in church my entire life. I have a definite opinion on this.

First of all, the past IS the past. If God forgives and forgets, so should we and others. There are things in my past (heavy drug use and addiction, promiscuity, homosexuality, materialism, among others) that are not a part of who I am anymore. They're amazing stories that allow me to connect with broken people, and to empathize with them, no matter what place they're in.

Second, having a past like this, means that you will be faced with the same types of temptations. Unfortunately, the devil is smart, and why reinvent the wheel? He knows our weaknesses, especially for people who have a history of specific issues, and therefore he does try to bring us back down in those same areas.

Third, perfection is overrated. Just because I'm not an awful person because Jesus lives in me, does not mean that I don't sometimes lose a battle. The war is won, and for that I take comfort. But all have "fallen short", the greek translation of sin is hamartia, and means to miss the mark.

Finally, a Christian seeks righteousness and holiness. In spite of temptations and failures, if a person espouses Christianity and still lives their life in the same way, we should explore the disconnect with them, and help them to come to a place of commitment. We choose to love and follow God, and it's that love and grace that gives a person with a past the strength to fight the old temptations.
 
Y

yaright

Guest
#9
Food for though. In Christianity we say that the past is just that, the past. Christ wipes away the past and transforms our lives if we let him. Obviously many Christians have testimonies that run along the lines of almost a fairy tale. "I grew up in a Christian home, got saved at 6, went to a Christian college, etc." Likewise some have testimonies that look more like a horror movie.

Anyway, the question for discussion is: how much do you take into account someone's past when making decisions about relationships this is assuming that it really is PAST, not recent. This assumes that the person is currently a strong Christian and has left the old life behind. Likewise, for those who have a past, how much does your past affect your decisions in persuing a relationship with someone who doesn't. In other words do you walk away because you think that someone who hasn't had a bad past could love or accept you in spite of your past


I strongly believe that those who say they do not have a 'past' are in denial. What purpose then are the words 'being saved by grace'
 
Jul 13, 2009
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#10
Well personally it's hard for me not to take into acount a person's past when it comes to a relationship. But at the same time if I know she has truely repented from it, then I can accept it. I think the repetance part is really important, some people don't really get over their past and still drag it into their present lives and I guess it's what most of us would wanna avoid.