Allowing a painful past to control your present is a sure way to destroy your future.
Yet so many choose to do this. Why? Because sometimes the past is so painful that it’s hard to put it behind you and move on.
If you feel bound to a painful past, I suggest that you examine the thought patterns and postures of heart that bind you.
Start by clearly renouncing wrong and damaging ways of thinking about yourself, others, life and God. Reject false perceptions, self-blame, guilt; the need to be in control, wrong ideas about all men or all women.
Give blame and responsibility to those to whom it belongs. Refuse to allow resentment, anger and bitterness to bind your soul to those who hurt you. Embrace forgiveness in a context of worship. Recognize the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.
Address your unwillingness to trust others.
Renounce efforts to isolate yourself in lonely forms of self-sufficiency. Fear of loss and betrayal often imprison hearts in fear of vulnerability and loneliness. Allow your heart to love another person as God loved you (See: Romans 5:8).
Renouncing bad patterns and embracing new ones takes patience and resolve. Identifying destructive thought patterns is a process that usually requires the help of others. Don’t be threatened by learning painful truths about yourself. A change of mind or outlook requires honesty about our feelings and thoughts. It also requires a new way of seeing things — God’s way. This is where the path to healthy and joyful living begins.
Recall these great words: “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close” (Psalm 27:10, NLT).
God said to His people: “I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,” (Jeremiah 30:17). God is the one who can “….restore to you the years that the locust have eaten” (Joel 2:25). Like the Psalmist, we must pray, “Renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
Resolve to commit yourself to a renewed mind. Change the way you think by learning to think godly thoughts from Scripture. “Be renewed in the spirit of your minds” (Ephesians 4:23).
The pattern of renunciation and renewal—“ do not be conformed….but be transformed” (Romans 12:2) is essential for overcoming one’s past. It is also a daily practice that yields long-term benefits over time. Change comes through a disciplined practice of renunciation and renewal.
The mind is what must be renewed. The mind is the center of thought, perception, understanding, and consciousness itself.
Recommit to the confession of Psalm 62:1-2 – “I find my rest in God alone. He is the One who saves me. He alone is my rock. He is the One who saves me. He is like a fort to me. I will always be secure.”
See also: Hurt by a broken relationship