Your past will either propel you or paralyze you.
I have a sweet dog named Mattie. She is a black lab and has the best demeanor, even around my kids. When she was younger and before we had kids, I spent a lot of time playing with her. She has never been very good at playing catch but once she got a hold of the ball it was hard to get her to let go. I would do everything I could to get the ball out of her mouth but never could get it from her. Until one day I discovered that if I covered up her nose, she would eventually drop the ball to breath. I know, I am so mean, right? But I think many of us are just like Mattie with the ball. We are so latched on to our past that there is almost nothing that will make us let go and move on.
There are two things we need to do to move on from our past. They aren’t easy, and may not be what you want to hear. It might feel like someone is cutting off your air supply. But you need to do it.
Our past is series of events and circumstances that are all tied to us. It is weird that the most easy to remember things from our past are the bad experiences. The first thing you need to do in order to move on from your past is to FORGET IT.
“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, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” – Philippians 3:13-14
Forgetting helps us move on and press forward. The second thing you need to do might even be harder than forgetting. The series of circumstances that make up your past usually don’t just involve you, but other people as well. People who may have hurt you or caused you to fail. People who did something to you that has caused you to be trapped in the past. In order to truly break free from our past, we need to FORGIVE. Unforgiveness is a poison and it only hurts you.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32
Get rid of whatever is holding you back and forgive the person who has hurt you in your past, no matter how terrible their actions were. If you don’t forgive them, unforgiveness will destroy you. Forgive them and move on.
If you aren’t seeing momentum in your life, or if you feel like you are always spinning your wheels, ask God to show you what is holding you back. I guarantee you that there is something in your past that is holding you back. What do you need to forget and completely wipe from your memory bank? Who do you need to forgive? Now, do it! It’s time to move on!