“Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah.”
Jephthah grew up being reminded that his mother was a harlot and that he was born out of an adulterous relationship. His half-brothers reminded him of this when he was an adult to the point that they disowned him and thrust him out of the family inheritance because they wanted no part with him. However, God had different in intentions for Jephthah. Though man could only see the son of a harlot, God could see a mighty man of valor. God didn’t allow his history to skew what He knew Jephthah could become. Though Jephthah’s history was dark, he didn’t allow it to hold him back from doing something for the LORD. His ability to move on from his history allowed him to change his history.
Many find themselves in the same position of Jephthah. Though they may not have been born out of an adulterous relationship, their parents lived such reprehensible lives that they often feel bound by their parent’s actions. Just like Jephthah, you can change your history if you take the same steps he took to change history. Let me show you four things you must do if you are going to change your history.
First, don’t use your history as a crutch to continue history. Jephthah could have thought that he had to live the same life, but he didn’t. You can allow your history to incapacitate your future, or you can determine not to let it stop you from changing your history. Your mindset towards where you came from and what you had to live through determines what you will become. If you determine not to let your history to be your history, with God’s help you can change your history.
Second, choose to be the one who changes your history. Someone has to say, “It ends with me.” You can simply continue in the rut of a bad history, or you can choose to be the one who finally breaks the chain of your family history. All it takes for your family history to change is for you to determine not to let your family history continue down the same bad road.
Third, don’t let the categorization of man define your history. Jephthah was categorized by man as the son of a harlot, but he didn’t let man’s categorization define him. Just because man wants to categorize you as something because of your parents doesn’t mean you have to live in that categorization. Man doesn’t determine your life. If anything, let man’s categorization of who you are be the motivation to show them how wrong they are.
Fourth, spend time with the history-changer. In verse 11, Jephthah realized that only God could help him change his history. It is interesting that Jephthah means, “Whom God sets free.” God is the only one Who can set you free from your history. You can attempt to break the family chains of history, but you will fail without God. You are going to have to spend time with the LORD so He can set you free from what has plagued your family for years.
What are you going to do? Are you going to let history continue, or are you going to change it? Just because your parents are bad people does not mean that you have to live like them. If you have the mindset to change your history and yoke up with God to change it, you can be set free from your history and let God define a new history for your children. Let me encourage you to hand your children a history that they would be pleased to hand to their children.