“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17. 

Are you living a life full of of regrets? In those quiet moments of reflection do you think, “If only…” “If only I had that college education…If only I had married the right person…If only I had won that job…If only I had not made that stupid mistake…”

But here’s the thing: The key to peace and to real life change is forgetting, not remembering. That doesn’t mean that you don’t need closure. Is it important to deal with your past?  Yes, it is. God doesn’t want us to pretend. He wants us to face our past and to deal with it by focusing on Him, and putting it behind us. 

There are positives that can come out of the past. You have the ability to make today better than yesterday. You can change the way you lived by applying the lessons you have learned. Your past was meant to teach you, train you and equip you for where you are today. Everything happens for a reason. Nothing remains the same unless you choose not to change. We have to keep moving.

But we are used to letting the past hang around. We hang onto the past for any number of reasons. One of those reasons is because we think it is a part of who we are. Or it feels so familiar because the past is a known commodity and the future is a question mark. Or maybe we just feel that the future can’t be better because of our past. Or finally, maybe we just think that because of what we did in the past, there is no point trying because we will always be behind in God’s view of us. Or maybe we can’t let go of the past because of the way some person treated us. Maybe we have anger because of a long list of wrongs that have been done to us  But we can let go of the past and what’s more we should.

The past cannot block our future because it is behind us. Our past can only remind us of where God brought us from. The future is ahead of us, just waiting for our arrival. Take a moment and thank God for everything in your past. The past was supposed to happen.  It is part of the plan. And better yet, it had a purpose. 

If I didn’t have a past, I would not have a future. My past is the reason why I am who I am today. I may have failed at some things, but I am not a failure. The past may have bruised me, but I am not broken.   

I’m not what happened to me. I’m not what I have been through, I’m not what people said I would become. I am who God created me to be. Remember what Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you have a lot of regrets?
  2. How has the past contributed to who you are today?
  3. How much does the past play in your present life?
  4. What steps can you take to put the past in the past?