Looking back at the past is something all of us do from time to time because it can be very satisfying to the soul. Reflecting on past mistakes can provide us with clarity and wisdom for the future. We can also see where our strengths and weaknesses are and be ready to say no to any wrong opportunities. So then…pondering the past can be a positive activity.
Recently, I came across writings about the past that were not so pleasant. This got me to thinking and questioning. When is looking back at the past not productive? Below are a couple of examples.
First, looking back is not good when we long for the way things were more then reaching for what God has for us today. Momentarily, remembering the ‘good ole days’ ourselves or with a friend can be a great way to relax and laugh at how crazy things were back then. However, when we choose to remain there instead of seeking what God has for us today, then looking back becomes unproductive. God has so much more for us if we have faith to move forward.
Secondly, looking back is not good when we use it to play the blame game. We either blame ourselves for our poor choices or we blame others for theirs. Upon remembering, the self-condemnation or our bitterness towards others is exposed. We keep dredging up bitter memories without ever taking the steps to allow them to heal properly. If only…I was smarter, had more loving parents, or better opportunities, life would be so much better for me now. May be so. Nonetheless, life is full of twist and turns and it is up to us to seek God for the way to overcome in anything we face.
Is anyone’s past perfect? I doubt it. Do we really desire little to no difficulty? Yes, if we are honest. However, in God’s eyes, suffering is a part of the grand scheme of things. Why? In the furnace-times of our life, God forges out His golden wisdom, and silvery understanding. We gain the character and humility God wants and we desire deep in our heart.
As children of God, we each have a unique plan designed for our particular personality. What pressures one would be a piece of cake to another. So we should never compare or compete with one another over our past. Even though we may not love or cherish our pathway, it can become the avenue to learning to overcome that we appreciate and enjoy later.
Is the remembrances of your past spoiling your future? Do you have a list of resentments in the pocket of your mind? Choosing not to let go cripples our ability to move forward. Choosing to move forward can bring wholeness of heart. When we are ready to move onward, God is waiting to show us the way.
Hebrews 12:14-15 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.