This is a subject that never gets old because using the past as an excuse is like using arsenic to sweeten your coffee – it might not kill you the first time, but just wait for it!!!
We don’t seem to get a clear picture of how detrimental it is to harbor hatred, anger, and a whole mess of other emotions that come up when someone hurts us, disappoints us or down-right pisses us off.
Putting the past behind us and forgiveness have nothing to do with the perpetrators in any scenario (be it murderers, rapists, liars, cheats or ex-spouses).
The importance of this exercise is about letting go, letting God and moving forward. It’s crucial that we allow God’s will to be done without us getting in the way of what is truly RIGHT.
Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” John 5:8
Did you notice that Jesus didn’t tell him to “wallow and cry for all the fun things you missed” or “live in self-pity because you deserve it after all of these years of suffering?” That’s a big, fat NO! He basically said get up and move forward!!!
I understand how difficult it is to move beyond the past and onto forgiveness without wanting to flounder in the despair of what was or could have been. However, misery is a quicksand that will snag, drag and pull us until we drown.
Jesus offers so much more.
By following His example we are presented with a place of healing, a purpose to fulfill and a call to worship someone greater than ourselves. I know, I know…it’s hard to believe we really aren’t Number ONE!
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. James 3:16
We are not doing ourselves any favors by embracing the pain of our past. In fact, we are keeping true joy at arm’s length because it will never find us until we crack open the walls to our heart.
Placing situations, hurtful people or terrible experiences in God’s hands can make all of the difference. Let Him be the One who fights the battle and doles out the judgment. NOT MY JOB. (Thank you, God.)
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. 1Peter 4:19
What this says to me is that we need to do for others despite where we are emotionally, physically or mentally. It also means we should get on our knees and ask for the following:
- Ask for God’s help to put the past behind us.
- Say out loud that we forgive the culprit until we believe it! (May take a while, but keep it up!)
- Repent of our own sins. Not only does it get them out in the open, it also allows us to see that we aren’t perfect either.
Put that past behind you. A better future awaits when the past isn’t pulling us down!
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 4:25 – Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.