Get Past Your Past Phil 3: 13 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Many Christians are plagued with regrets from the past; they seem to be stuck in a rut. So, they go to counselors, bookstores, best friends, the internet, and a variety of other places looking for a way to forget the past and “move on.” But they end up in a vicious cycle of comforting themselves in their misery by staying in the past. Some even try sin which only makes matters worse in the end because now you regret both your past and your sin.
The question is, “How do you get past your past?” And the answer is, “You get past your past when you:”
Quit seeking vengeance – Rom 12:19 – You want to hurt those who have hurt you or else you want God to hurt them. If God wants to hurt them he will. However, oftentimes the Lord lets them go, at least for the time being, and you never have the pleasure of seeing them hurt the way that they hurt you. Desiring vengeance that never comes to pass will lead you to a bitterness that will destroy you and others you love around you [Heb 12:15]. You must stop praying for and seeking revenge.
Take your share of the blame – Gen 3:12-13 – Human nature hasn’t changed in 6,000 years. Men always want to put the blame for what they have done on someone else. While others may have had a part, they weren’t the only problem. You own some of the blame. You don’t need to share their part of the blame; but you certainly need to take your share. Until you will deal honestly before the Lord with your part in your past, you will never be able to get past it. Let others answer to God for what they have done wrong and you answer to God for what you have done.
Cease to honor yourself – Prov 20:6; Gen 20:5-6 – When you have been hurt by past sin, not only do you shift some of the blame but you also give yourself more credit than you deserve. Abimelech boasted of his integrity in not touching Sarah. However, the Lord shows us that the reason Abimelech didn’t touch her had a lot more to do with God’s intervention and protection than with Abimelech’s integrity. He was giving himself far too much credit. When you do this with your past, you keep reliving it in order to justify to yourself that your actions were absolutely innocent. You must keep reminding yourself of your goodness to soothe your conscience and thus you can’t let the thing go.
Quit thinking about a different outcome – Heb 12:16-17 – Esau sought carefully and prayerfully a place of repentance after selling his birthright. Try as he may, there was none to be had. At some point you must realize that all of these mental, emotional and imaginary attempts to correct your past transgressions will not make them go away. They are there to stay. Reliving them won’t make them better and won’t make them turn out any differently. They happened and you must accept that. Next!!
Forgive those who were involved – Eph 4:30-32 – You may be thinking that you will never forgive someone or that can’t forgive him. Your thoughts and actions are in direct disobedience to the words of God. He said that he forgave you and he expects you to do the same thing [Matt 18:23-35 deals with the kingdom of heaven but the cross reference is appropriate in that we have been forgiven and, therefore, should forgive others]. You will never get past your past if you do not forgive those who were involved.
Establish healthy boundaries to keep this from happening again – 2 Chr 14:6-7 – When Asa came to the throne in Judah, he built and fortified cities in a time of peace in order to protect Judah against future attacks from their enemies. He didn’t wait until they were being attacked to protect his country. He took precautions. And in your life, you have seen areas of weakness in your life and you have seen the damage of transgression in these areas. So, you need to establish some safe boundaries that will keep you from getting hurt again like you have been in the past. In other words, learn from your past and get stronger. Don’t wallow in your past. You will only make the same dumb mistakes again.
Conclusion: You can get past your past but you must face it in truth and according to the Bible’s remedies. Haven’t you already seen that everything you have tried in the past hasn’t worked? Then do what you have seen and heard from the Bible. I can assure you that these measures are tried and they are true.