Stay Focused on the Path Ahead and Don't Look Back
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"But Jesus told him, 'Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God'" (Luke 9:62, New Living Translation).
I find it interesting how we can look at the past through cynical glasses or rose-colored glasses, often not realizing that either one is a huge liability. Paul set us an example when he said, "But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead" (Philippians 3:13). I feel many do not take this with the gravity that God meant.
Often, I find people who dwell a lot in the past suspiciously look at the Church and the ministry through that past. While we are to learn from the past, we cannot judge the present or the future by it. The human nature we all struggle with clings to every hurt and feeling of betrayal of the past, which hinders us by stymieing growth. On the other hand, God's plan for us is future-oriented and growth-oriented through overcoming.
Then there is the second scenario. I simply title it the rose-colored glasses scenario. Remember the children of Israel? They had been delivered from the tyranny and bondage of Egypt, where they had been slaves for years. They cried out to God for deliverance, and the Lord answered their prayers.
As they were making their way through the wilderness, God supernaturally fed them with an incredible substance called manna. It was like bread from heaven. They had it daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But after a while, they got a little tired of it. They said, "We are sick of manna. We remember back in Egypt we used to eat garlic, leeks and onions. Those were the good old days… If we could only go back."
The good old days? Really? They basically ate scraps in Egypt because they were slaves. Their lives were miserable. Yet in their imaginations, they had supersized those scraps to some storybook feast they had every day. They were not looking at the past accurately.
When we go through something that hurts, like what many of us experienced with our separation from our former organization, there are always lessons learned from history, like having a "love" for the truth and being doctrinally sound. But when we allow our present relationships to be governed by the painful past, we hinder opportunities for growth, love and trust.
Don't build up the past in your mind. Remember it for what it was, good and bad, and learn from it. Imitate the good and don't repeat the bad. Don't allow the enemy to pull you down by fantasizing about it. Protect your mind, and don't look back.