Stewardship of the Past: The Past and the Heart

It is hard to forget the past.  I guess you could say that is a good thing and a bad thing.  Successes of the past could give us confidence for the present.  Failures of the past could motivate us with the thought, “It won’t happen again.”  Maybe that’s what UA was thinking in LSU II.  Or maybe not.  On the flip side, recalling success could make us arrogant and remembering failure could make us defeatist.

The effect of the past on the present is determined by the heart. 

If my heart is on Jesus, I will learn from the past and those lessons will help me improve my efforts to be more like Him.  If my focus is on me, I may become depressed or (depression’s opposite) overconfident as my past continues to affect me.

Whatever effect the past has on me, one thing is clear:  I must not live there.  I must live where I am in what I can control – the present.  I must personally cause the effects of the past on my life to be positive by focusing on Jesus and not myself.

. . . 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. (Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV)

Paul had a lot of failure in his earlier life, and he didn’t realize it was failure at that time.  I guess he could have dwelled on the lost time and opportunity of what went before.  But, he didn’t.  He wanted to be a good steward of the past by not living there.  He lived now.  He lived to his fullest potential in the present.  This gave him a forward momentum, not a backward slide.

It can be the same with you and me.  We can get lost in the “could have’s” and “should have’s” and miss opportunities now (thus repeating past failures instead of learning from them).  Remembering the past is ok.  Living there isn’t.

Look forward.  Live now.  Win the prize.

 

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