Anyone who has lived long enough has either said, or heard advice that goes
something like; “Always look ahead, and never look back.” The advice that suggests that it is good to forget your past can seem very appealing to most. Especially if there are areas of your history that you would much rather forget. Is this solid advice? Is it truly a good idea to “forget” your past, never to reflect upon it again?
Imagine if you were a child and placed your hand directly upon the burner of
the stove. Quickly the nervous system of your body goes to work and causes a
chain reaction of synapses that causes you great pain, which leads to you
removing your hand to avoid and minimize damage to your skin. The pain that you
feel is obviously unpleasant and undesirable, but it does have a purpose. It
serves as an indicator that your hand is not in the right place, and further
goes to remind you never to put your hand there again. If you were to eliminate that experience from your mind the chances of you repeating that event would be very likely.
Imagine you are a young adult, and you meet the love of your life. The excitement and anticipate of this new relationship makes you feel as alive as you were on the day you were born. You and your new love are so excited to experience the world together, and explore things as a couple and build a life together. Eventually, the “newness” of that relationship wears off. At some point, there are arguments and situations in life that challenge every instinct of your being to remain together. You begin the search for the strength, and the will to stick it out. More likely than not you are going to refer back to a time of happiness and remind yourself that the relationship is worth fighting for, as you have invested so much into it.
Good bad or indifferent the events of your life make you who you are today. Everyone has a unique set up circumstances from which they come. Some seem better than others, however assessing their worth is useless. Conducting an appraisal on your past is where the real danger lies. When a person appraises the quality of their past because it cannot change only you can. If you view your history with low regard the odds of you viewing yourself with little regard dramatically increases. The further danger is that you will very likely view your present and future with this same regard. God gives us all the ability to be able to have our cake and eat it too. We can learn from our mistakes and the unfortunate events to have a clear and beautiful future, and he will walk side by side and carry all the baggage!
Don’t forget your past, do look back! Allow God to carry the weight of the areas of your history that are too heavy for you and would slow down your future!
Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)
5 But he was pierced for our
transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought
us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 59:12 (NIV)
12 For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify
against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities:
Romans 4:25 (NIV)
25 He was delivered over to death for
our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Ephesians 2:4–5 (NIV)
4 But because of his great love for us,
God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even
when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.