You are not defined by what has happened in your past. You may wear the scars of something that you willingly entered into, or something that happened to you without your permission, but those scars don’t have to define who you are. A good example of this lesson is recent Dancing With The Stars winner J.R. Martinez. At 19 he was serving overseas in the military when his vehicle exploded. He made it out alive, but now wears the prominent scars of that experience. He has very visible scars covering majority of his body, but that does not keep him from living a very full life.
He is an inspiration to so many people that think that because they are scarred so badly, they can never live a normal life. Martinez brought his charm and deeply moving story to every dance he performed, and because of it, captured the hearts of the viewers early in the competition. He does not let his scars define what he will accomplish.
God uses our scars to bring Him glory in the end. Take a look at any person in the Bible and you will be able to see this so clearly. If the men and women in the Bible were this scarred and still made it into the most widely read Holy book in the world, I would say that is clear evidence that God uses the broken along with all of their junk to do amazing things.
Think of Adam and Eve. The first people to walk the earth, and they literally “walked WITH God” on a daily basis. If they can be broken and scarred in such a major way and still be the parents of the entire population, what can God do with a sinner like me who has never had the pleasure of literally walking along side the real and visible God?
I have many scars that haunt me on a daily basis, and sadly I lose the battle with them more times than I win, but God is still using me. He has never let me fall so far away that I can’t get back to Him. There have been times when I have been serving in ministry and trying so hard not to let the junk show, because I knew that I really should have been removed from that place of leadership. But, God knew that if that would have happened I would probably have been less likely to work out that junk by falling to my knees and letting God take it off my shoulders.
One example in the Bible that reminds me that my past does not affect my future impact for the glory of God is Rahab. She was likely a prostitute, yet if you look at the lineage of Jesus, her name is listed as one of the few women in the direct line to the Messiah. If that isn’t testament to the hand of God using our past I don’t know if you are reading it correctly! She was the only person in Jericho that could have hidden the spies the way that she did. She likely lived in what we would consider a brothel, therefore to have men come in to her house would not have raised any red flags, it was probably a common occurrence. But because of her act of courage, she was saved from the slaughter of the other people living in the city, and she was able to save the lives of her family as well. Her story comforts me on my dark days when I feel like my past actions have somehow disqualified me for the grace of God.