Dear Legacy Dads, If you are anything like me, at some point or another, you have thought about your past and what you may have done differently or what you would have kept the same. I often think about the good (mostly like to remember the good) but often I find myself thinking about some of the sin stuff too. That is, thinking how I wish I could have told the "younger me" the pitfalls of these decisions and how they would impact me years or even decades beyond those ill-gotten decisions.
If you have time, go to Youtube and search for Mercy Me, Younger Me (or watch the video below):
There is a part of the song by Mercy Me that shows this:
- Dear younger me
- It's not your fault
- You were never meant
- to carry this beyond the cross...
I think for you and me, looking back (for an instance) is not a bad thing. That is, to say, that it helps to remind us of where we came from and the decisions that we made. It helps me to thank God for being faithful even when I was not. It helps me to avoid those pitfalls that left devastation and disappointment in past decisions (sins). I thank God for the gift of His Son, Jesus, who paid it all and who nailed all of those sins (past, present and future) to the tree.
Romans 8 is a good reminder for me:
Life in the Spirit - 8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.[a] 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you[b] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Heirs with Christ - 12 So then, brothers,[e] we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons[f] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Future Glory - 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
God's Everlasting Love - 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[i] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[j] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I have to be honest for a moment here and tell you that I hate historians who try to re-write the past or takeaway artifacts that were set to remind us of past mistakes and or victories. Those who do not tell history the way that it should be remembered - through the eyes of truth - no matter the story teller, should be removed as citizens and be enslaved in their own lust of agendas. If you ever meet someone who is like this, pray for them and lead them to God's word. Because Jesus is the truth and the truth shall set you free.
So back to my younger self, I often think of some things that I would have done differently if I knew that it wouldn't change my outcome to where I am at today - with a wife and three kids who love me and adore me and make me want to be a better husband and dad not because of what they do or how they do it, but because I want to do those things to please God and to make them feel loved.
What I would say to myself back then:
Dear younger me,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.