For many, the past year was a time of struggles and failures, more than other years. For some, the pain was so intense, and you’re not sure if the next year will be any different.
It’s time to let go of the past and learn to move on. Here are three important considerations.
- Why do we hold on to the past?
The past seems to have an anchoring effect on us. The anchor helps the boat to be steady in the midst of a storm. Thus the events of the past work as an anchor for many people.
Though this has some benefits, there are negatives as well. We often interpret our present with the events of the past. We see people reacting in unnatural ways and wonder where they are coming from. Often, their reactions stem from their past.
Some have their identity rooted in the past. It’s difficult for them to live the present. Their past either was a great time that they cannot forget, or their past was such a traumatic experience that they cannot move forward.
Their inability to resolved negative issues keep them rooted or “bound” by past events.
- Where was God in our past?
This important question is commonly asked: “Where was God when I went through such a situation?” For some, this is their greatest offense against God. Their unresolved issues of the past causes them to be angry with God.
Jesus promised “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). Actually, God’s presence was with us all along. “Then why didn’t he do something to help me?” He did. He sustained you in your deepest pain.
You heard his voice, but you did not understand it as his voice. He was constantly speaking to you. Unfortunately, because of various reasons, we are unable to distinguish God’s voice from all others.
- What do we gain by letting go of the past?
The reality is that the past holds us in its grip when we hold on to the past. The more we hold on to the pain and offenses of the past, the tighter the grip. The grip the past has on us gets stronger.
Thus the earlier we let go, the better it is. As soon as painful events happen, let it go from your hearts. Release the pain, release the offense, and release the person. This will ultimately ensure our freedom in the future.
When we let go, we can be free to live in the present and enjoy all that the present has to offer us. The reason the present seems to be such a nasty plate of rotten fruit is because we have not let go of the pain of the past.
So let it go. See God’s presence in your past. Be free so you can enjoy the present.
*In the comments, share another benefit of letting go of the past.