Rhythm and routine have become a vital part of my progress. So every morning starts with Bible Study, reading, prayer, and speaking positive scriptures over my life.
Currently I’m studying A Jewel in His Crown and this morning a few passages jumped out at me:
- Even if you’ve gotten out of the mud of debt or mistakes in your past, that is not enough. You’ve got to change clothes and stop wearing that pain around or else “your identity is being ruined by the dirty puddle of the past.”
- “Your friends know that your self-esteem has been demolished by the mud of your past. They probably aren’t going to tell you that. They are just going to pity you right out of the self-esteem that is rightfully yours.”
- “The God of the universe … has already given you a new beginning, a new name, and a new purpose for living. “
Wow! It’s important to lean the difference between addressing the past and living there. Pity is an addictive narcotic. It’s easy to hunger for that pity and want to be defined by:
- Past addictions
- Past loss
- Past disappointments
- Past failures
But what all these things have in common is that they are in the past.
I flipped over to Power Thoughts, which is the book I’m reading right now. The first thing I read is
“Your past can be am unbearably heavy load when you try to carry it into your present.”
This is immediately followed by another:
“If you feel disappointment due to the mistakes of the past, it is time to shake it off and get reappointed. Your future has no room in it for the past!“
Ok, God, you have my attention. What do you want me to learn?
Joyce quotes a verse in the next paragraph so I opened it in my Bible.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Paul recognized that holding on to the past, both its success and failures, is a hinderance to moving forward.
I’m not defined by my battle with addiction; it’s in the past. I’m not defined by my 3.96 GPA; it’s in the past. I’m not defined by my mistakes on Monday; it’s in the past. I’m not defined by losing my father, losing my mother, and becoming an orphan; it’s all in the past.
“You get sympathy for your struggles but you earn respect by overcoming them.”
I have no idea where I first head that quote but it’s one I’ve repeated it for years. And it’s true. There is no glory in suffering for the sake of suffering.
I moved to set the Bible aside and I saw the beginning of verse 15:
“Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind…” (emphasis mine).
Wow, ability to move on from the past is a sign of maturity. And today it’s time to grow up.
I told my cousin that I was working on a blog about letting go of the past. She said that she thinks the past is valuable and we shouldn’t forget. I agree. The past should not be forgotten… it just shouldn’t be carried into our present. But that’s a blog for another day. 💖