Lately I keep going on little side trips down memory lane.
These are not useful journeys since what I’m doing is remembering what I’ve done wrong in the past and what others have done to me.
My heart can easily get wrapped up in guilt, shame, blame, and resentment when I travel to the past in my thought life.
Lately, when I start to do this, there is a firm voice in my mind, (I’d like to say it’s the Holy Spirit) which says, “That is in the past; leave it there.”
How grateful I am for that reminder. Too much of my life has been spent going into the past and regretting and resenting.
Today as I looked at some quotes online, these two were presented which speak to this lifelong battle I’ve had.
“Wherever you are, be all there.” This quote by the missionary, Jim Elliot, reminds me that if I go back and live in regret or resentment, I cannot fully enjoy and participate in the present.
Another quote that echoes the truths the Lord is reminding me of this week is this: “The past is behind. We must learn from it. The future is ahead. We must prepare for it. The present is now. We must live in it.”
That is my goal—to live in the present and stop looking back at my sins and the sins of those who have hurt me. Today I choose to fully receive God’s forgiveness and to pass it along to others. I embrace with all of my heart 1 John 1:9:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (ESV)
and Ephesians 4:32
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
How much more joy I will have as I do this. I’m discovering there is joy in His presence, but also joy in the present.
How about you? Do you take destructive journeys into your past? Are you willing to live in the present and forgive yourself and others for what happened in days gone by? Joy will follow.
Here is a song that always ministers to me when I am caught in feeling guilty about the past. It it “What Sin?” by Morgan Cryar
Note: I believe the line that says, “weak this way” should read “weep this way.” Receive His truth.