“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” Philippians 3:13
One of the ingredients necessary for an effective and productive life is to make sure you deal with the issues of your past. The truth is the past is not the past until it has been dealt with properly, because your past effects today in a negative manner. Therefore, it is still the present.
In order to deal with your past, you first must be willing to be honest with yourself. We have a tendency to see the flaws in others and especially those that are close to us and we will quickly point them out without hesitation. You may need to do what I did; take an honest self-analysis, look in the mirror and ask the question: “Could my life be this way because of something in my past that I haven’t dealt with because I have not been totally honest with myself and those that are close to me?
We all bring baggage into our relationships that are a product of our past. The good things in our past we will quickly bring to the forefront because it produces the good qualities we want present in our life. However, the bad things in our past that we have not dealt with, like personality problems, emotional issues, relational difficulties and physical struggles create internal and external problems that can jeopardize our relationships.
The second thing to do is to surrender the issues to God and allow Him to reveal to you anything or anyone in your past you need to deal with. Whatever He reveals do not procrastinate, deal with it immediately and begin the process of moving forward.
The third critical issue is always forgiveness. All of us have dealt with some kind of deep hurts from our past that still have negative influence over our lives. Without forgiveness, our hurts become festering wounds that never heal and they can easily distract us from what is important, our sanity.
The simple act of forgiveness can set you free from your past and put you on the path to living a successful life. Please note that simple does not imply easy. It is going to take a concentrated effort to forgive others and/or yourself about past issues, but with God’s help and a solid support system, you can do it.
Finally, you must take responsibility for dealing with your past. I want to let you in on a startling secret about the past: the past is the past and you cannot change it. Your past is like scrambled eggs no matter how much you want to go back and change what happened, you cannot. You want to blame someone, but you know passing the blame will not help your progress or change your situation.
Taking responsibility means acknowledging what happened and dealing with it in a responsible manner to bring about a positive resolution. If we live blaming our spouse, parents, job, the government or others because of what happened in the past and never take responsibility we will never truly be set free.
If you have wasted valuable time thinking, “If I would’ve done it this way; I could’ve had this or I would’ve been doing that, “stop that defeated thinking right now”. I know that you are not going to forget your past totally. You need your past to remind you of what not to do or what to do to focus your attention on your specific vision. Your job is to be honest with yourself, surrender the past to God, seek forgiveness and take responsibility.
- Do not let the cynical words of others prevent you from going after your dreams.
- Do not let fear or pride detour your progress.
- Do not let your past failures or mistakes abort your promised future.
You will be surprised how quickly your life and relationships will begin to change for the better when you deal with your past.
Question: What past event(s) do you need to deal with so that you can move forward? Leave a comment below.