Release People From Their Past

October 3, 2008



It is a phenomenon that I have noticed recently.  I have been in and around ministry for more than two decades,  but I believe this is something that the Lord is bringing to the forefront.  Something that we must catch ahold of as the body of Christ,  or we will hinder the working of the Holy Spirit in this vital hour.


God has always brought “extra grace required”  people into my life for me to impact and disciple, usually one at a time.  They are people that love the Lord with all their heart,  but somewhere in their past they were severely broken.  Usually with no fault of their own.  Abusive parents, no parents, molested as kids, wounded and traumatized in some way. 

 As they attempted to try and deal with the overwhelming issues of their lives,  they often developed traits that most of us tend to run away from.

For instance:  needy, lack of good boundries, lack of self control, immature,  and the list goes on,  you know them too.


In some ways I was one of them after an excruciating life altering trauma.

It took a while to get back on my feet.  During that time I did not always handle life with grace.  It was like walking around as a giant bruise.

I love the line my husband brought up from the movie “Seabiscuit”.  “ You don’t throw away a perfectly good horse just because it is banged up a bit”.  


The same is true with people.  We – the Church-  sometimes throw away some of God’s greatest treasures.  Like Seabiscuit,  with love, patience and re-training,  he became a winning racehorse with a spirit that would not quit.  So it is with people.


God has brought another such person into my life at this time.  The odds against this young girl are more than I have time to say….  It broke my heart when she shared the traumas that life has thrown at her.  She came to the Lord three years ago.  The Lord is working the damage out of her…but it is taking time and she has made many mistakes, but inside her I see the heart of a champion!!  Lord, give us your eyes to see with!


The tragedy is that the people around her won’t let go of their “image” of her.  An image that was created during a transitional period.

God is transforming my friend into a  leader and the church and her family are putting her down and boxing her into her failures and mistakes.  We are all guilty of doing that at one time or another and not even realizing it.


God wants us to help free people from their past.  There are leaders and valuable parts of the body of Christ just waiting for a little support and nurturing from us.  People can change.  We must not only let them, but help them.


What if the early church had not let the Apostle Paul free from his past?  Or Peter was made to quit the ministry because he failed and denied Christ three times?  Can we really afford to lose those whom the Lord has called?

In closing I want to encourage all of us to take a second look.  Allow someone with an earnest heart to change and help them do it.  Be a Barnabas that embraced Paul when others were afraid of his past.  The Lord knows we need ALL the available laborers that are willing to work in His kingdom.


Phillipians 3:13

Brethren I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


Everyone should have the freedom to press ahead and be transformed into the image of Christ. Let’s help each other run the race instead of keeping them in the stall!



Jean Chamblee Thomas


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