Guilty as charged

Arrested In Handcuffs File photo

Thu, 2 Jul 2020 Source: Julius Mawuli Ziorklui

A story is told of a young man who committed a crime in a town. This young man was the son of the richest man in the town. His father had influence and could change the proceedings at court.

This man hired the best attorney for his son and the plan was that he would plead not guilty and the case would be trashed out. The night before the court hearing, the young man had a dream of how his life would be if he pleads not guilty.

In the dream, he saw himself walking in an aisle and people were throwing things at him and calling him all sorts of names. He also saw in the dream how his father was trying very hard to save him but couldn’t.

When he woke up, he realized that he only needed to… On the day of the hearing, after the presentation of the case by his attorney, he was asked if he was guilty. To the amazement of everyone, he pleaded GUILTY.

To most of the people in the courtroom including the judge, this young man had made the worst mistake of his life. To him, it was the most exhilarating moment of his life.

What is so peculiar about this story that I had to share? The story above can be likened to our lives. The crime committed represents our past mistakes, failures, and low moments.

The plan to free the young man represents the easy way out of our past: denial, blaming, and whatnot. The young man’s decision represents what a few of us do to gain everlasting emancipation.

A few days ago, a young lady I know messed up years ago and things had become tough for her so she asked me if I blamed her for what she did.

I said to her, “You did what you did and there’s no going back on that; blaming you won’t make any difference. The beauty of life is that we have the opportunity to plead guilty to the things we have done so that we can have freedom.”

What did I mean by pleading guilty? I have come to realise that the only way out of the past is ACCEPTANCE.

Acceptance is a very important decision we need to take if we want to be free from the past. Acceptance means: I know that it was wrong for me to have done, said, or behaved the way I did, but I accept the fact I did it.

I will not blame my actions on anybody, my circumstance, or anything. I plead guilty but I’m very grateful for the opportunity to become a better person. Acceptance gives you closure on your past.

Even as Christians, when we come to the Lord Jesus for the first time, we do not blame people or circumstance for the things we have done rather we accept that we have sinned (whether we did the things we did intentionally or unintentionally) and we believe in Him for forgiveness and we are glad because we have an opportunity to become better people.

Acceptance is the most important decision you can take about your past because it is the most assured path of freedom from your past. Every other way out of your past is helpful but for only a short time.

Your only real ticket out of your past is acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t feel good but it is the best shot you have.

It is the shield that cushions us against accusations, name callings, and finger-pointing.

Acceptance is the most important decision you can take about your past because it is the most assured path of your healing from your past.

There are myriads of people who are going about life today still carrying the weight of yesterday’s mistakes which is so wrong. The starting point of healing from our past is acceptance.

Stop asking yourself questions: “What was wrong with me? Why did I do that? What was I thinking?” Wait oo! Who do you think you are? Everybody makes a mistake. Everybody can make a wrong turn in life so stop beating yourself up and accept that it happened but you are not defined by it.

Acceptance is the most important decision you can take about your past because it will make you wiser. The only way we learn from our mistakes is when we accept that we made them.

If you don’t accept that you made them, you can’t learn from them. Acceptance in itself is wisdom: bygones are bygones and will remain bygones forever.

I have had to battle with some mistakes I made in the past. I found it very difficult to forgive myself and move on.

I found freedom and healing when I accepted my past. Today I’m not haunted by my past. I feel free. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated to face the future. Why don’t you give it a try?

Columnist: Julius Mawuli Ziorklui