We all like new things. New phones, new cars and even our old sheets that have been washed (anyone ever sleep on sheets that have been dried outdoors? They are so fresh smelling). We celebrate the new year even though there is really nothing all that new or different. I remember turning 18 years old and people asking, “How do you feel now that your are 18?” My reply? “No different than yesterday.”
We see verses that talk about the “newness of life” or that “His mercies or kindnesses are new every morning” but, it really doesn’t seem that way. What’s happening? Why do things feel the same as yesterday? I believe it is because we are holding on to our hurts, failures, unforgiveness or tragedies of yesterday… or those that happened 5 or even 10 years ago. When we choose to live in the past we can’t lay hold of the new. The unforgiveness or bitterness that you hold on to usually never affects the offending person, but its killing you. I remember listening to a pastor that was wounded by a church, he said he forgave them and moved on, but he talked about it several times a year. What was happening when he “shared”? Some of the puss of unforgiveness was coming out and we were all exposed to it again. Most of the time, the person sharing does not see the infection of unforgiveness but a lot of the rest of us do. The worst part is that some of us get infected with the same hurt or offence even after that sharer gets cured and here we are, covered in puss with no solution in sight. I have never had a tragedy in my life, praise God, but I know people who have and many live constantly in that place and cannot move on in this life or into the newness of God. Like that pastor, it gets brought up often and the hurts and devastation of those moments get relived again and again. I’ve had failures in my life that occasionally get flashed before me and if I start dwelling on them or the humiliation of them, they start to hinder and limit me so that I won’t or can’t do what the Father has for me to do. I don’t deny that they ever happened, but I do deny their right to control or have a limiting influence over me now. After all I am not the same person that I used to be. I am a new creation. The old things have passed away. ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW! Paul writes it this way, “Forgetting those things that are behind” or things that previously happened (and he is not limiting the list to just the bad things that happened to him). How would you feel about a group of people that picked up rocks and threw them at you hard enough to kill you? You talk about having a right to hold unforgiveness or bitterness toward someone. He goes on to say “…reaching forward to those things that are before” or ahead or even reaching forward to the new things!
Sometimes the Father can use the hurts and tragedies to teach us things, but don’t let them become your pets, view them for what they were, from the enemy. Therefore, they were and are despicable and nasty events and things that were meant to take you out.
Let’s move on with our lives and let the old thing or things go!