Over the past year or so the character of a number of public figures has been maligned by reaching back in their lives to when they were in high school or college. Now, everyone knows that what we do from 18 to the mid 20s has little bearing on what we become later on in life. People change over time some for the better and some for worse and we usually can tell which by looking at their current behaviors.
In fact, our whole judicial system has moved towards a rehabilitation model because we believe that humans can be changed if they choose to embrace treatment. Some do and others do not. We can tell which by evaluating attitudes and behavior. In some cases, especially for youth, a record may be completely expunged. That is so the foolishness of youth will not be a hindrance later in life.
People change over time. Most of us today would not like to be judged by what we did 30, 40 or 50 years ago. Nor should we be. Christians especially know the power of forgiveness and a changed life. Every Christian knows that a changed life is the identifying mark of a Christian. And it doesn’t matter how terrible one’s past has been. We can all have a new identity in Christ.