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Session 1

Are you owning your past?

Read: 1 Timothy 1

If you have a pulse, you have a past. We all have things in our past we would rather not remember because remembering makes us uncomfortable. Maybe it was the names you called a classmate behind his back, or the girl you pursued just to get in her pants or the failed marriage you pretend never happened.

Paul, in his first letter to a young pastor named Timothy, shows us how remembering the past helps us appreciate the present. After openly stating his past wrongs, Paul says, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:12-15).

None of us were good enough to earn a place in heaven — not even Paul, who started churches all over the world and wrote half of the New Testament. Salvation is a gift we didn’t deserve and didn’t earn. When we omit parts of our story or pretend we’ve always been this godly, it cheapens the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf.

Eager as we are to forget our past, it’s only when we put down our perfect fronts and acknowledge how God saved us from our messy pasts that we can experience the freedom of God’s grace.


  • What’s one part of your past that you’re embarrassed or ashamed of?
  • When you think about who you were before you met Jesus and who you are now, what differences do you see?
  • When was the last time your shared your story with someone? Ask God for an opportunity to share how He’s changed your life.

Need help sharing your story? Check out our quick tips on how to tell your story for God’s glory.

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