Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Past Has Passed

Proverbs 4:26  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

       I was looking at some of my wife's old home-movies that my father-in-law had made in the mid 1950's. There was a sense of optimism in the actions of the people being filmed and excitement on the faces of everyone who was in these 8mm silent-home-made movies of family record. 
      The future looked bright and seemed full of great and wonderful possibilities. I realized I was putting a nostalgic and positive spin on what I was looking at, because I knew the outcome of where most of these people were at today. I was looking at everything with my rose-colored-glasses, and most likely I was mistaken at my own interpretation of everyone's life events. 
      I had almost fallen into the trap of saying, "The good old days." The only thing good about the good old days is that they are gone. Phil. 3:13 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 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
      Focusing on the past can paralyze us from moving toward the future God has planned toward our well-being. Luke 17:32  Remember Lot's wife. I am not saying do not look at old home-movies, as a matter of fact, please do, and you will have a fun time of belly laughter that will bring health to your souls. Prov. 17:22 A merry heart does good like a medicine. 
      I am saying you cannot go back. What happened back then, was then, and this is now. Absentee fathers cannot bemoan the fact that they were not there to tuck in their children at bedtime. Runaway children cannot go back and enter their lost home-life today. Alcoholic mothers cannot go back and coo away all the hurts caused by drunkenness. All of these extremes messes can only be healed by the Balm of Gilead that Christ spreads across our hearts. None of us can go back to our past and fix the events that caused the state of our present day biology. 
      The question we must ask ourselves is, what do we do today?  When will we stop using the excuses of the past to allow our present day misbehavior? When will we grow up? 1 Cor. 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 
      Our church counseling rooms are busily occupied with bruised and sorrowful people who will not forgive their past, or are obsessed with returning to the past to try and accomplish a fix that is truly an impossible mission. Their daily song becomes Isa. 6:5a Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone. Sackcloth and ashes become their portion in life and the garment they wear. 2 Tim. 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 
      Looking forward should be our position in Christ, but if we look back we might look at it in the way Og Mandino quotes, “Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don't look back at it too long. Mistakes are life's way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit. Your turn will come.”  
      The Lord would say it this way. Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. 
      We read in chapter eleven in the book of Hebrews, a recorded list of the heroes of faith. They were not people who lingered long around their past shortcomings and failures. They went forward believing God, and that faith was accounted to them as righteousness. With the righteousness they had, they overcame incredible odds. 
      We have a better covenant in Christ who has blessed us with His overcoming ability and grace. Let us move forward seeking Him first in all things and forgiving the past with the Lord's help. Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

3 comments:

  1. true you can't go back. only god can heal all that back there

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  2. It's necessary to look back to reflect on lessons learned, but one should not dwell on the past or allow it to negatively affect their future. Turn negatives into positives!

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