Do you ever dwell on things you regret saying or doing? I do! And I don’t just mean the words that slipped out of my mouth yesterday—or even an hour ago. I’m referring to events that happened thirty years ago—or even longer.
There are times when I’m going along my merry way and an image of a past embarrassing or life-changing mistake pops into my thoughts, and I cringe. I remember words that I still wish I could take back because they either hurt someone or made me sound ignorant. I’d like to return to various experiences just long enough to change my response and the outcome.
There are also memories of people hurting me deeply by their words or actions.
When I think about those moments—both when I was the offender and the offended—I still feel sick inside. . . .
The reality is that many of those situations have probably long been forgotten by others, but for some reason, I can’t seem to let go of them.
Because I’m a perfectionist, is pride the root problem? Or is it Satan’s way of trying to take hold of my emotions and trick me into believing that I’m not free of the past? Even though I’ve asked for forgiveness and have forgiven others.
We’re supposed to learn from our blunders. Maybe my subconscious brings them to mind now and then so I don’t repeat the same mistakes. But wouldn’t it be better to just remember them and not be emotionally affected all over again?
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” (Isaiah 43:18 NIV)
The other day, I saw a created photo of a beautiful butterfly tied to a rock. The stone was obviously so heavy, it was impossible for the butterfly to get very far. All it could do was drag the large stone behind it.
That’s what it can feel like when we dwell in the past and focus on what went wrong as opposed to what opportunities wait ahead.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
Is anything holding you back from living a joy-filled life? What do you need to leave in the past so that you can move ahead and live the life our Lord has so graciously offered?
Leave them behind … and fly!