We live in an age where it does not matter what you do now. If, twenty or thirty years ago you did something wrong, you are still condemned. You are derided as useless, fit for the garbage heap and a hypocrite.
Let us look how the God of the Bible handles mistakes.
# Abraham is the ancestor of the Jews. According to the standards of our day he deserves to be denounced because he selfishly put his wife in a predicament with foreign leaders on two occasions. He should be dismantled and removed from his position. Well, not if God has a say. The Lord called him ‘Abraham my friend.’ Isaiah 41:8
# God sent Moses to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. He had fled Egypt 40 years before because he murdered an Egyptian. In our time he would be shouted down, ‘You murderer! Out! We will not listen to you!’ Yet God used Moses to lead His people out of Egypt. Moses was the leader of the Israelites for 40 years and wrote the first 5 books of the Old Testament.
# King David took the wife of one of his trusted supporters. Later he caused her husband, Uriah, to be killed in war. In our time he would be derided as a scoundrel and his history should be expunged from the Bible. Yet God forgave him when he confessed his sins and said about him, ‘I have found David, son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ Acts 13:22b
# Saul was an educated, devout Jew and Pharisee. He made it his business to persecute, arrest and even have those who believed in Jesus, killed. If he lived in our time, he would surely be shouted down as, ‘Persecutor of Christians! Unfit to live! Traitor!’ Yet God stopped him in his madness, made him the apostle Paul and gave him back some of his own medicine. God personally taught him the hidden treasures of His Gospel plan. Paul wrote 13 of the letters to congregations in the New Testament.
# Jesus warned His disciple, Peter, that he would betray Him three times during the Lord’s trial. Peter did exactly that. If he lived today, people would denounce him and ‘send him straight to hell.’ What did Jesus do? He gave Peter the opportunity to repeat three times that he loved him. The Lord Jesus told Peter, ‘Feed my sheep.… Follow me!’ John 21:15-29
Maybe we should learn from God. We live in a world where people search for the ‘dirty laundry’ of others and parade it for all to see. Who cares if that person changed? As long as he can be humiliated and degraded (tear down his monument). Who cares that Jesus teaches mercy and said, ‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged.’ Matthew 7:1
We will all appear before God to give an account of what we did while on earth. That means all people, not just some. Maybe it is wise to leave judgement to God.