"Once a dirtbag, always a dirtbag! There is no hope for anyone to change."
I can still see the words from a social media exchange I had with a online friend sometime ago. The conversation was disheartening at first. I was not only disheartened for my friend, but I was disheartened that I once believed these words to be true. You know what I mean—we've all had people in our lives that seem to never change or even want to change. Maybe those people are us? Either way, what I've found is that these people have never been told that there is hope—hope for a second chance, hope for a fresh start—new life, and hope for a better story than the one they are living. They've come to believe their story isn't significant.
Let's be honest for a second. All of us have been dirtbags at one time or another. And somehow we have fallen for the lie that "once a dirtbag always a dirtbag" is true. That there really is no hope for us to change—no second chances, no fresh starts.
Somewhere we heard these words and they became embedded in our hearts—you can't change who your are. Another thing, I've met people who don't want to believe there is a second chance for other people—they don't want to believe people can change. In a sense they want the dirtbag to suffer the consequences and live in misery. I've found they want justice and vengeance for the hurt they've suffered or because they can't forgiven themselves nor believe they should be forgiven for the dirtbag things they've done. Sometimes people are unable to see that their story and other peoples stories are redeemable and significant, and they can't live a bigger and better story.
Three lies people believe that keep them from living a bigger and better story
The lie that your past defines your future
The lie that you can't change
The lie that you are beyond hope
Everyone's story is significant and everyone's story can change. Everyone can live a bigger and better story. There is hope for everyone. I know this to be true for myself and for you.
"Everyone's story is significant and everyone's story can change."
There was a time I felt hopeless and without purpose, direction or dignity—I often turned to drugs and alcohol, which resulted in me making poor decisions, and giving into my anger and rage. I didn't believe I had a second chance or was worthy of a fresh start. I felt like nothing was ever going to change—like there was no hope for me to live a bigger and better story.
I have friends who have failed in all aspects of life. They've failed in relationships, businesses, careers, morally—you name it. But what kept them from stay stuck in the quagmire is knowing their failures didn't define them nor were their failures the end. They believed they had a second chance to start over—to begin anew, to start fresh, they had a do-over. And more importantly they didn't believe in the lies.
Everyone gets hope and a fresh start
No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, you are never beyond a second chance. I believe everyone has a second chance through this amazing thing called grace—this grace that comes only from Jesus. And I want you to believe it too.
One of the sweetest things about the words the Apostle Paul wrote to a church full of dirtbags and failures is that because of Jesus, your old life has passed away and the new life has come—everyone gets a fresh start.
"Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!" —2 Corinthians 5:17 Msg
I believe this to be true—that because of Jesus, everyone has an opportunity for a fresh start. Our old life has passed away and is being replaced by something bigger and something better—which is living a more honest, deeper, and faithful life.
Three things to help you live a bigger and better life
Trust in Jesus—in who he is and in what he did. Trust he wants to give you a fresh start.
Trust that because of Jesus, your past doesn't define you and can't hold you back.
Trust the honest, deeper, and faithful life is the significant life Jesus wants for you—nothing more and nothing less.
Your story can change!
That's what this blog post is all about, really—helping you know there is hope for a second chance on life, as we love Jesus and love like him. We will find that no one is beyond the love and forgiveness that God has for each and everyone of us. God loves us just for who we are and not for who we should be. And He loves us more than enough to not leave us where we are at, because He has so much more for us—something bigger and something greater in store for my life and for you.
There are only two ways your story won't change—you believe the lie that you are beyond hope or you don't want to change. So the words, "Once a dirt bag, always a dirt bag! There is no hope for anyone to change" are only true if you let them be true.