I know that sounds like a, “Duh! Really?” statement, but how many people do you know that seem to live in their past, always regretting things that can’t be changed?
I often review my life, and there are many, many, MANY things I would like to have done differently, and I confess that I am preaching to myself when I say that reliving past issues which cannot be changed is just plain stupid.
The emotional frustration that results from wanting something to be different, coupled with the sense of helplessness when you know that you can’t do anything about it, is maddening. It is a waste not only of time, but of emotional energy and it drains our spirits. It leaves us open to attack from the enemy, which is really not something we want to do.
So, nu? What is the answer? It is so simple to do, and so hard to do: just let it go.
“Sure, Steve- just ‘let it go’. Gee whiz, why didn’t I think of that?”
Yes, it is stating the obvious, but the obvious things in life are so often overlooked, aren’t they? We need to let it go, to give up trying to change what can’t be changed. For those rare cases where we may be able to get passed the past, to re-connect and start anew, we should be willing to apologize and/or forgive. That is the first step, then we can work towards building that relationship up again. Depending on the situation, it may never be the same relationship as before, but that may not be such a bad thing, after all. Some people change, some people don’t, and if you have one dynamic person with a static person, somethings gotta give, sooner or later.
God is wonderfully static- He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. And what is really great about that is that God doesn’t have to change because He is perfect! We need to change because we aren’t perfect, and change can go in either direction: for the better, or for the worse. When something happens that changes a relationship in our life, whether we caused it or not, once done it can’t be undone. It can be worked around, it can be forgiven and forgotten, or it can cause pain and frustration for the rest of your life.
But you can’t change the past.
And it’s not just your choice- something that happens between two or more people cannot be overcome if even just one of the participants refuses to work towards repairing the rift. In that case, you move on. You allow them the right to choose how they want to live, you forgive them (to get rid of your pain- the only way to get past a hurt is to forgive) and you move on, keeping your eyes on the prize, calling on the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to help you (remember- Yeshua called it the Comforter, so use it to comfort yourself) and praying for the other people involved.
I have found that no matter how badly someone has hurt me, when I pray for them it is easier to forgive them, and when I forgive them (even though I still have trouble getting totally over it) it is easier to let go. Try it- you’ll like it. It really works!
Letting go means forgiving: you may need to forgive the other person, or you may need to forgive yourself. Through forgiving you can let go of the pain, and when you pray for them you are doing what God wants you to do (Matthew 5:44, Proverbs 25:22), because God knows it will help you.
Those who can’t stop living in the past can’t have a fulfilling future- don’t drag your anchor all through life. Let it go, ask God for help, and move on. Salvation is just around the corner, so why are you still sitting there?