[javert – the power of the past…]
Yesterday, Bill Grandi talked about Inspector Javert from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, so I thought I would start my series with that character as well.
Javert reminds me of those priests who walked past the wounded man in the parable about the Good Samaritan. He considered himself superior, cleaner, more righteous than all those others who did not have the same level of Law-abiding habits.
However, while Javert was trying hard to prove that he is good (according to the Law), he was simply trying to deny the fact that he was just like everyone else. A great proverb says, “Whatever we don’t like in other people – we have those same traits.” He was trying to hide his own shame by blaming everyone else. His own past was haunting him – the fact that he was born in prison, of a fortune-teller, whose husband was in the galleys.
He was extremely ashamed of his upbringing and knowing that his parents were law breakers was a sore point for Javert, which made him make a promise to himself: I will never be like that. In his eyes, he succeeded (until one fateful night with Valjean), but his methods were wrong. For Javert, there was no such thing as liberating power of grace. His only aim was to make sure that those who do wrong get what they deserve – but in his pursue, he lost all humanness, the ability to love fellow people.
The power of the past… is not greater than the power of God’s grace.
Often in our Christian lives, we focus too much on our past. Instead of meditating on God’s Word and Love, we meditate on our feeble attempts at being disciples of Christ and mistakes we make along the way.
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Philippians 3:12-14, NLT
Notice what Paul is talking about in this passage: “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”
“Easy to say, just forget the past. What about God? He surely remembers everything I’ve done wrong,” someone might say.
[God] says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.”
Hebrews 10:17, NLT
God promised that He would forget our past. If He can forget, so can we. And the main tool that God uses for this is grace – amazing grace that saves such wretches like us; grace – something we don’t deserve, yet He lavishes it on us along with His love.
Don’t try to deny your past – it happened already and you cannot change it. It is the future that you can change – by changing the present.