Overcoming Our Past #1
Philippians 3:12-14Most of us probably have several things in our past that are hard to live down. Think of sound advice we didn’t heed, and in retrospect would have been wise to. We might have saved time, money, and even a relationship. Some of the toughest words to hear are “I told you so” from someone who gave us wise counsel that we ignored.
How we spent our money weighs heavily on a lot of peoples’ minds. Wouldn’t we like to get back even a portion of the money we spent on snacks, clothing, toys, and other things we thought we had to have at the time, and later realized we didn’t really need? I would.
How we spent our time may be an even bigger issue than how we spent our money. If we misspend money, waste it, or lose it, we can always get more. I’ve read of several people who made fortunes only to lose them, but bounced back to make another fortune. You can’t do that with time, though. Sure, you may have another day, but time once spent can never be recaptured. Sometimes it is only after we leave home, or our kids leave, that we begin to realize the inestimable value of time.
Relationship blunders certainly rank high on the list of things that are hard to live down. I don’t even like to think about some of the things I’ve said or done that hurt others. Can anyone else relate to that? How do you overcome some of those blunders?
The list of mistakes and sins we have committed would be too long to list, wouldn’t they? But we often remember them, relive them, feel them, and experience the pain of them over and over. They become like a noose to our necks, or rocks on our back, weighing us down and choking us all at once.
These mental burdens can be so tough to live down that some people actually can’t, or they won’t. Instead of overcoming them and pursuing a happy and productive life they focus instead on trying to “cope” with them. They may use drink or drugs to alter their memories and thus their emotional states. The same thing may be attempted with gambling, shopping or any other activity that temporarily redirects our attention. Ultimately, such attempts fail, and leave us not only still struggling with the initial problem, but with the added miseries of debt and bad health.
Then, some people grow wearing of even trying to cope, and they simply become hard-hearted. The bad memories, frustration and anger creates hard-heartedness. These unfortunate people spend the rest of their lives frustrated and angry beyond measure. If you encounter them and get stung, don’t take it personally.Is there a better way to deal with the burdens, hurts and issues of our past! Absolutely! In a few days I'll discuss a couple of suggestions from Philippians 3:12-14. Until then, what are some constructive ways you deal with the pain and shame of the past?