Many people get stuck in the past. Maybe you’re stuck right now. Maybe you feel guilt over something you’ve done (time doesn’t heal guilt). Maybe you feel shame over some evil done to you. Maybe you’re angry at a friend and holding a grudge against them. I don’t know what you’re situation is. But God does.
The Bible is filled with strong emotions and terrible situations. You can learn from King David, a man who loved God, as to know to deal with your past. Psalm 22 is a moving account of how to live in this broken world.
David starts out, “My, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1). Have you ever talked to God that way? Have you ever been that honest? Have you confessed that you’re stuck in the past?
God can handle it. He knows you’re guilt, shame, anger, ____________ (insert issue here).
You won’t move past the past until you’re ready to talk to God bluntly about it.
View Yourself Rightly
David confesses, “I am a worm and not a man” (22:6). He know his weaknesses and his doubts. But he also knows how God views him: “Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb” (22:9). Maybe you did contribute to some wrong in the past. Own it. But also remember that God forgives. To refuse to forgive yourself is pride. It’s saying to God, “You know, God, Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t enough for me. I need to do something to pay off my past.”
But you don’t.
Jesus did it all on the cross.
Train your mind to think about other things
Don’t think about pink elephants.
What did you just think about? Pink elephants, amirite?
Our brains are always thinking about something. You can’t make yourself NOT think. Telling yourself, “Don’t think about the past, don’t think about the past, don’t think about the past” doesn’t work. Every time your mind begins to dwell on the past, you need to train it to focus on something else.
How about God?
Despite David’s difficulties pressing in around him and wanting to grab his attention, he concentrates on God: “A band of evil doers has encompassed me…But You, O Lord, be not far off” (Psalm 22:16, 19).
What’s helped you move on from the past? Comment below or bring a tip to share with a friend at Youth Group.