Faithful Friday:Looking Back

19 July 2013

I was reading a devotional this morning and there was a question that stood out to me. What is leading your life, are you living in the past, present or future. I have been honest with you all and told you that I have hurt people and that I have also been hurt by people. When someone would hurt me I had a hard time forgiving them because I was stuck in the past, every time I saw their face or heard mention of their name I would relive the past. Essentially reliving those moments stopped me from forgiving people and moving on with my life. I carried the hurt from my past into every experience in my present. However today my issue is no longer with forgiving people but I noticed that I can still get so caught up in the past. For example the other day I missed an opportunity and I dwelt on it all day thinking about what I could have said to make the deal work for me. I spent the whole day living in past moments so if another opportunity had fallen at my feet I would have missed it.

Honestly there is nothing wrong with replaying the past if you stand to gain from it. You can reevaluate your past with fresh eyes to see if there were lessons you missed - so that you can do better in your future. Your past is important because it's a part of your testimony and a big part of your life. But if you replay the past and become all "woe is me" you won't be present and you'll miss out on what God has in store for you. I am speaking to myself as well when I write this because I still have not mastered moving on yet. Sometimes I am living in my future and sometimes I am living in my past, well then who is living in my present? Who is spending moments with my husband, talking on the phone to my mom, meeting with my clients, who is hanging out with my friends? If I am not living in my present then who is?

I don't know what you may be looking back on, maybe it's failed relationships, being hurt, losing loved ones, past mistakes, lies, miscarriage, abortion etc.. Just know that God is doing something new in you.

If you don't think you dwell on the past, listen to the things that you talk about with your family and friends, surely most of our conversation are drawn from experiences in our past. When we carry our past with us we find stress, depression, unhappiness, and a lack of joy in our present.

There are quite a few scriptures that talk about not being anxious about the future and there are also a few that talk about not living in the past. In this verse below God's people are urged to forget the past to move on towards the future. 

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead -Philippians 3:13 NLT

In Matthew 6:34 Jesus also urges us not live in the future by saying “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today."


So what does this mean? It means you can look back to learn and you can look forward with concern - but do not let your past steal your future and do not let your future steal your present. 

Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past. Ecclesiastes 5:20

The verse above tells us how our Father wants us to enjoy our lives. God wants us to live in our present so that he may accomplish great works in us now. He directly commands that we "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past", Isaiah 43:18. So do not be depressed about the past do not be anxious about the future be present today live in your now.

12 comments:

  1. I loved this post Charity! I know I definitely struggle with living in the past, and there is nothing more comforting or convicting than seeing scripture specifically tell me not to do so. Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful weekend girlie!

    XOXO
    Chelsea

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  2. I must stop being so anxious. I'm always visioning the future and wishing days would hurry up and past. I vow to live in the now. God please help me.

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  3. This was exactly what I NEEDED to hear today...:) I love your blog! It makes me smile! :D

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  4. great quote! Thanks for sharing. So true!!!

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  5. I absolutely love this! The quote is perfect. Your faith is such an inspiration.

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  6. I definitely struggle with living in the future (i.e. worrying about how this or that is going to work out). The other night I was reminded that many people struggle with faith because they always want to know what the end is going to be, but the truest faith is placing your whole self in God and trusting Him as He brings you to the place where you should be according to His word. This post reminded me of that. I'm definitely a WIP (work in progress).

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  7. The chart of our focus being revealed through our current concerns is so helpful. Thank you for sharing!

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  8. The chart of our focus being revealed through our current concerns is so helpful. Thank you for sharing!

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  9. First of all, I want to start by saying that I loved what you wrote on my post. That sausage story is what makes memories of childhood so special! Also, could you BE any more adorable? Your picture just makes me want to be your friend. You look so happy! Now, on to your post: I loved this. I struggle so much with worrying about the future and fretting over every little thing instead of just having faith that what was meant to be will be. Forgiving others and leaving the past in the past is something that I work on daily. It's really hard to have the strength to be the kind of person who can honestly say that we have forgiven those who have wronged us, isn't it? But as long as you know that is the direction you want to go, you'll get there. :) I have to remind myself that it's okay to falter and now and again. Life's a learning experience!
    Lana @ Monday's Nugget
    http://www.mondaysnugget.com/

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  10. It's really hard to let the past go , really it IS . But lettig it go would make the other day brighter and opportunities wider . We all get hurt , but at moments , healing process just gets started somewhere.
    Noor @ Noor's Place

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  11. Great post! So glad I found this blog. I have fell victim to living in the past and found depression in it, I also fell victim to living in the future and found anxiety in it. God has given me a peace to give all my worries and cares to Him. I believe God wants us to live in now, and keep His will as the most important factor. That let's everything else fall into place :)

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  12. So thankful for your blog posts. They are always little reminders of what I am really struggling with. I need that, so I can face the problems head on. You know with the current situation I am, and what happened just a short 5 months ago, it's been really hard to let go. I've been building up walls like crazy because of the past. Don't even get me started on how I am fixated on the future.. I always say, "I can't wait till (insert life event) happens." Which isn't fair to my present...What I have NOW, is what I should be more focused on. Thank you so much for the reminder Charity. You are such a blessing.

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