The mistakes we’ve made and hurt we’ve caused in the past can be a battering ram in our lives. I used to carry around a mental list of screw-ups, letdowns and mistakes. Some of which occurred decades ago. Like a huge bag of trash, I was dragging this smelly garbage around with me.
As soon as I would start pressing on toward a goal or mending a relationship, I would look back at my trash and go wallow in it like a pig. Whether it was a financial mistake or someone I hurt, I would go relive it and allow it to have mastery over my future.
Maybe there are parts of your past that control your life. Everyone experiences this problem to some degree. For some the bag of trash is debilitating, paralyzing their life, stealing their joy and peace. If you are this person, I was in your shoes for many years. I’ve been where you have been. There is a way out.
The mistakes and pain you’ve inflicted in the past don’t have to rule your future. However, if you let them, they will become a battering ram in your life. They will always knock you down. Sometimes, this battering ram is big enough to knock down you and someone you love.
- If you have ever asked for help and when help arrived, you ran away from it. You know what I’m talking about.
- If you have ever rejected love when you know love is what you need, you a tracking with me.
- If you have ever asked for honest advice from a friend only to reject it, you and I are on the same page. It’s time to let it go…
How do I let go?
- Ask for Forgiveness: If you have wronged God or someone else, ask for forgiveness. Deal with who caused all the trash (look in the mirror) and consider taking it to the Cross of Christ.
- Set it down: In your mind, place the bag of trash on the ground. Tell it that it will no longer have control over you.
- Set it on fire: Imagine yourself pouring a can of gasoline on the bag, lighting a match and throwing the match on the pile of garbage. Watch it burn until nothing is left but ashes.
- Bury the ashes: Dig a deep hole and bury the ashes.
- Walk away: Without a bag of trash to carry around, your hands are now free and able to grasp the joy and challenges of your future. Its difficult to embrace a person holding a huge smelly bag of trash.
Don’t Look Back:
Fight the urge to look back. The only thing you’ll find is a pile of dirt and ashes. Remember the trash has been reduced to ashes. Every once in a while you may be reminded of the bag of trash. You might even imagine carrying again. This is a lie. It’s gone. I promise you the further you walk away from the buried ashes, the easier it will get.
Look Up and Look Ahead!
This is the deal. I believe God has a plan for your life. And it is not based on your past. The biggest lesson we can learn in life is to let go of the past both failures and successes.
Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
“Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:17)
“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13-14)
Let go, let God…. Don’t look back. Look up and look ahead.