How many of you think about what happened in the past or what you did that you would like to redo? It could be the trauma of childhood abuse, molestation, heartbreak or hurtful words. Most of have experienced something in the past that has defined our behavior into adulthood. There are many hurting adults because of a past emotional, physical or spiritual wound.
Society says that the best predictor of future performance is past behavior. Jesus Christ says that no one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62) In Jesus, his death and resurrection, we are a new creation, the old is gone and the old things have passed away. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
As believers we are equipped to move forward, the armor of God does not include anything for the backside!
4 ways to leave your past behind.
Many times are so busy with our lives we don’t take the time to think about why we do what we do or why we respond strongly to certain situations. It is important to slow down enough to think about these things. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you in this process. We must recognize what we are doing so that we can change our thinking which changes our actions.
2. Forgive Others
Forgiveness is a huge part of leaving our past behind. Many are deeply wounded and have built so many walls around their hearts nothing can penetrate. The first step to healing the wounds is forgiving those that have harmed us. We are not condoning the behavior we are just releasing them from our lives.
In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus is telling the parable of the unforgiving servant. A servant owes the king a large sum of money, the king dismisses the debt and the servant proceeds to imprison someone that owes him a little amount of money. The result of this is that both the person that owed the large sum and the one that owed a small sum where both tormented.
We must choose to forgive. If you don’t want to forgive someone, try asking God to help you to want to forgive them. Your Heavenly Father will amaze you with what He does in your heart thru this process. He knows your heart and every thought (Psalm 139) so be honest with Him through this process.
3. Forgive Yourself
We must also forgive ourselves. This is one of the most difficult things for people to do. We are very hard on ourselves and we think things about ourselves that are not true. 1 John 3:20-21 says that when our heart condemns us, God is greater than our hearts. How many times has your heart condemned you? God forgives us and we need to forgive ourselves. Simply put, if we choose to not forgive ourselves we are saying that our sin is greater than the Cross and the shed blood of Christ (Matthew 26:28. Forgive yourself, Christ died for you too!
4. Look forward, your past does not define you.
The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:13-14 that we are to forget the things that are behind and press on toward the prize in front of us. Your past does not define you, you are a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). Isaiah 43:18-19 says to not remember the old things because God is doing a new thing. Jeremiah 29:11 says that the Lord has thoughts of peace about us and wants to give us a future and hope. This is not just something that some prophets said thousands of years ago, this is the living, breathing Word God and it will change you (Hebrews 4:12). The Lord himself tells the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 55:11) that His Word will not return void.
Let’s choose to walk forward and lay down all the baggage of the past. Start today!