Why is it so hard to let go of the past?
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I can remember injuries from my childhood.
While I hope I can moved on, they are still in my memory, and they can affect my behavior.
I will react in certain ways to similar situations, or I will give similar situations more scrutiny than novel situations.
Our memories are there as a database of information.
We learn from our experiences.
It helps us make better decisions, hopefully.
But we can become trapped in past bad decisions, and repeat them over and over.
We have some choices to make:
1. Use past good experiences and decisions as a basis for future success
2. Use bad experiences and decisions as a basis for future success, by not repeating them.
3. Use bad experiences and decisions as a basis for more failure…….by allowing them to either
a. Entrap us in the past, and immobilize us
b. Serve as a source of bitterness
c. Coax us into repeating the same experiences to somehow find redemption in them, in that we think we can somehow do the same thing, and get a different result.
d. Allow them to justify our current failures, and deny responsibility
e. Allow the bad past to define who we are
f. Use them to convince ourselves that God does not love us
Concept of being born again
When Jesus first addressed this issue, perhaps it meant more than just accepting Him as Savior, although that was critical.
He may have also meant that He would wipe away all our sins, and remove the past that hurt us, and put us in bondage to our sins and mistakes.
We could start over!
It would not be our past that defined who we were, but it would be our relationship with Him that would do this.
Instead of failures, we would be a holy, successful people.
Instead of bitter, we would be joyful.
Instead of trapped, we would be free!
Think on the good things
While it is human nature to think back, and dwell on the past, we must look to the present and future with the eyes of Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.
Instead of remembering all the lies, think on what is true and honest.
Instead of thinking about all the unfairness, think on the justice of God.
Instead of thinking about the unholy and impure, think on what is pure, virtuous and lovely.
Instead of dwelling on bad reports, think about the good reports.
Instead of failures, think about the successes.
Instead of sadness, fill your heart with praise!
Instead of thinking of your past, think of your future with Jesus in heaven!
We can overcome the past by understanding our relationship with Jesus, making it a close one, and focusing our minds on the “prize” waiting for us in heaven.
This earthly life, and all its problems, is not our final destination.
Not even the grave is the end of our lives.
Death is just the beginning of eternity for us.
For those who have not accepted Jesus as savior and redeemer of their lives, there is still time.
Prayerfully consider your past, and what you want your future to be.