I struggle with accepting this line of reasoning. After all, we all have pain in our past. While some people have had more pain than others, everyone has something in their past that caused them pain. If we allow the pain of our past to be an acceptable excuse for present poor behavior, then we can justify almost any manner of bad behavior by appealing to our past pain.
But does appealing to the pain of our past actually help? Apparently whatever current poor behavior we have engaged in is not making things better. Instead such behavior is so negative that it is causing people to “judge” us, or at least we think it is. While it is true that people should not judge each other, it is also true that we should not engage in behavior that deserves judging. We may not have been able to control what happened to us in the past, but we can control how we act today.
Instead of playing the "pain card," we should begin to address the pain of our past and learn to deal with it in positive ways instead of negative ways. There are countless examples of people who went through horrific experiences in life but choose to become better instead of bitter. Such overcomers choose to use the pain of the past as a motivation to be a comforting voice to others. They choose to be victors instead of victims. We all have a history, but our history should help us engage in self-improvement, not in self-justification of poor behavior.
So, to all my Facebook friends with a difficult past, I do not judge you. But I do hope we will all learn to move beyond the pain and to become better people. I pray that we will all learn when it is time to stop justifying poor behavior and grow up into mature people who make real and lasting positive impact in the world around us.
For more devotionals like this one, consider Touching the Footprints of Jesus.