Lately, it’s been difficult to go a day without hearing about some celebrity violating another person. From movie stars to directors to politicians to producers, the world of the famous is giving rise to an issue that hits closer to home for many people.

We all know it isn’t just the well-known that have a history of disrespectful and abusive offenses toward another.   I’m sure a quick poll of people reading this would result in many that have either been abused, disrespected, and/or harassed. And, there may also be a number of people that have been the cause of such activity.

I have made no secret of my past; a past that is riddled with one-night stands, substance abuse, and disrespecting others.  I have verbally and physically harassed others with inappropriate jokes to unaccepted passes.  While I have never abused anyone, I can say that these past behaviors have been inexcusable and unacceptable.  I remember my actions.

What really troubles me with the latest discoveries of celebrities involved in inappropriate behaviors, is how many of the accused have defended themselves by saying they simply do not remember the incident in question.  It would seem that many famous people have suddenly come down with a terrible virus causing them to forget much of their past.

A lack of memory can be convenient, but it is a deflection when it comes to solving an issue.

If we have a behavior that is not okay, wouldn’t remembering it help us to change that behavior?  How can we change something about ourselves, if we never remember what needs to change?

One thing that took me a very long time to learn in life was that I could never work though bad behavior if I made excuses for that bad behavior.  In order to move in a different direction, one really has to know they are in need of a different direction.  They need to admit they are moving on a wrong path so they can get on a right one.

Therefore, it is so important to own what we own.  To remember our actions and take hard looks at bad choices.  Sometimes we must say, “Yes, I remember that, and yes, I was wrong,” before we can say, “I am sorry.”  We can only change sinful behavior when we acknowledge our sinful behavior.

Then, when we own our behavior and mean our apologies, we can seek answers to why we acted a certain way.  We can truly delve into our actions and honestly amend our ways.

I had to fall on my face many times before I could admit that the things I was doing in my life were harmful to myself and to those around me.  I had to admit that I was being destructive. It wasn’t until I owned my destructive behaviors toward myself and others, that I could really consider why I was making the choices I had been making.

I had to look at things like insecurities, low self-worth, life events, and so forth before I could work on changing my life and the way I acted.   There are often things below the surface that can be a warning sign that something underneath needs addressing.  A hot wall could mean a fire deeper within. A fire deep within, doesn’t make a hot wall okay.  It only verifies that something is not right.

By dealing with what is under our surface, we can build a different foundation and change the ways we act and do things in our world.  By owning what we were, we can change who we are.

Changing who we are will never excuse what we have done in our past.  When I told a dirty joke, or made an unwelcome pass at a woman in a bar, I was being a jerk. Simply put.  My issues underneath does not allow me to engage in bad behavior.  The inappropriate behaviors and choices in my past were not right and they will never be right or excusable.

Jesus Christ said, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. (Matthew 18:15) When someone has been hurt by the actions of another, there simply is no healing in denial and excuses.  When we have harmed another, we must remember it, own it, and do something about it so we do not harm again.

I am very grateful to have experienced the amazing grace of Jesus Christ.  I am grateful to have been given chances to turn my life around.  I am not the same person I was in my past, but I do own my past.

I do remember who I was, and thank God for who I am.

Listen to this week’s podcast to hear more on this topic.