Removing an archaeological artifact from its original context removes it from its place in history. Archaeologists cringe when someone walks into a museum with a newly discovered piece of history hastily dug up from their latest backyard project. In doing so they removed the piece from the surroundings that actually tell its story. Each artifact requires a precise and measured excavation to properly identify its relationship to its surroundings and its place in history. The context of an artifact reveals as much information as the artifact itself. Without both parts working together the story is incomplete.
Your personal history is what gives your life the distinct character it carries. Paul never distanced himself from his history. He boldly shared his personal history. Don’t try to hide from your past. Use it to show others how God's plan of redemption has worked out in your life. The testimony of your personal history is a gift God wants you to share with others.
There is no place in our lives for the kind of shame that would cause us to live apart from our history only allowing our lives to be displayed on a protected fireplace mantle removed from the very provenance that accurately describes our life. We are God's masterpiece. He wants to display us with all our history intact.
Allow your history, both the good and the bad, to be known. In that honest representation people will be able to see how the love of God was powerfully displayed in your life. That will become your testimony - the historically complete and accurate one.