Galatians 2:20 holds these words, “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” In this New Testament book, the apostle Paul is talking to early Christians about the vast difference between following the Law and living by faith. If we bottom-line it, he’s talking about the struggle between the old way of being right with God and a new response when they embraced Jesus Christ as Messiah.
I don’t know about you, but letting go of old ways is tough for me. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m holding onto something until it’s practically strangling me. I find this especially true with my train of thought. Over the past couple of years as I’ve spent time with a professional trained in trauma therapy, I have learned that I can retrain my thought process, but it takes intentionality and time.
For me, my “go-to” emotions when I face a challenge are feeling rejected, left out, and not good enough. When I have an experience that invites me into this way of thinking, I must remember what I know to be true about who I am in Christ. Christ does not reject me even if the world does. He does not exclude me for I am His adopted daughter. And though I may not be worthy, that is not an issue between Him and me. His blood covers my unworthiness and invites me into a righteous relationship with Him.
So I have a choice, don’t I? I can think about what I’ve always thought about myself in those situations and behave the way I used to. Or I can claim the truth in Galatians that reminds me I don’t have to be like I used to be. “The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20b AMP
I can’t change my past, and you can’t change yours either. We can’t change our decisions or what someone may have done to us. We can’t change what we used to think or believe. We can’t change years of grief or unforgiveness. The past cannot change. But we do not have to let our past define us. We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we can claim that newness. And when we are tempted to look back to who we were then or go back to old habits and ways of thinking, we can choose to stand firm in the One – in the only One – who promises joy and rest for those who turn to Him.