Is there anything you can do that can’t be turned around? Can you commit an act so horrible that there is no way back? Is there anything you can do that can never be redeemed? Are there unforgivable sins that render your life beyond any kind of redemption?
New England Puritan Samuel Sewall sat on the court of judges who condemned nineteen innocent men and women to be hanged as witches during the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692. Once the trials were over he realised his heinous mistake and begged God and his community for forgiveness.
Despite being weighed down with the knowledge that he had sent innocent people to their graves, he turned his life around to champion a number of human rights causes. I’m sure that he continued to regret what he’d done but he didn’t let his past control his future. Samuel Sewell became a campaigner for a range of issues that put him at odds with prevailing thought. He was a strong voice against slavery and spoke up about the rights of women at a time when community views were very different to his own.
Samuel Sewell refused to let the mistakes of the past stop him from living a bold and fruitful life. He repented and then began again. He didn’t allow his past to consign him to a life of regret. His early mistakes could have crushed him but instead he found forgiveness and worked to make his life count.
Are there things in your past that are holding you back from life? Have you let your past rob you of your future? Is regret crippling your life?
My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and Vice President elect of the Baptist World Alliance. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.
I recently spoke to Ross about Samuel Sewall and what we can learn from his life. You can listen to our discussion by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.
The life giving message is that we are never beyond redemption. We can’t just pretend that past events didn’t happen but we can move boldly into the rest of our lives, able to make a significance difference to the world around us.
Maybe today’s the day you need to take Samuel Sewall’s lead by seeking God’s forgiveness, turning from the past, and walking with God towards a brighter tomorrow. I’m more than happy to help you take that step. If you want to know more about turning things around, feel free to visit my contact page for my email address and get in touch with me.[audio:http://mpegmedia.sonshinefm.ws/feeds/SPI171109_0941.mp3]
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