We continued our sex series last night at our youth group. This week I had a friend come and share his testimony. He made some choices and decisions that fell outside of God’s intentions and boundaries for sex. It was extremely encouraging to hear his story and how God’s grace and redemption shone through even the darkest of moments.
I had my friend come and share because, as far as sex goes, my testimony is pretty bland. I didn’t have sex until I was married and neither did my wife. Our testimony is an example of God’s grace enabling us wait until marriage. I love sharing my testimony with our students but there are just some questions I can’t answer.
“How did you feel when you had sex with your girlfriend?”
“How have those past sexual experiences affected your marriage?
“If you didn’t get someone pregnant or catch a disease, what was so bad about it?
I can answer those questions from a philosophical and biblical stance. I can’t, though, bring any real-life experience to them. That’s why I’m thankful that my friend was willing to share his story. He was able to see how God could redeem his poor choices in order to make a difference in the lives of others.
That is why we should embrace our mistakes instead of trying to ignore them.
Obviously we shouldn’t embrace our mistakes and continue making them. But we should be honest about our mistakes, repent from them and move on into the lives to which God is calling us. Once we’ve moved beyond our mistakes, though, we should embrace them as a part of our past and something that God can redeem.
When we’re open about our mistakes and willing to share them with others, God is able to then redeem them and use them to impact someone else. My friend shared last night that he hoped our students would be able to learn from his mistakes and avoid making their own. If even one student chooses the better path, then God made something good spring from his brokenness.
And that’s just what God does. He makes beautiful things from our ugliness.
So we should be willing to share our ugliness and brokenness. Not to celebrate or glorify them, but so God can redeem them and use them as he sees fit. There may be some shame and disappointment, but God will wash that away and simply present us with an opportunity for beauty to grow out of our ugly.
How has God turned your ugly into beauty?