Living Life in Real Time

Chapter 6 – Leave the Past Behind April 5, 2010

Tell me…what do you think about this statement from page 97:  “The past can’t really affect us, but our present feelings about the past can.

This week’s crazy maker is this…Just leave the past behind.  The past is not important and we should just press on to what lies ahead…after all it is biblical…right?

We’ve hurt people…we’ve been hurt by people.  We’ve done said and done things that we’d like to take back.  The problem is that all of these things have happened in the past and they can’t be changed.   This chapter challenges us to see our lives from an eternal perspective…not the past or the present.

  • The past can’t really affect us, but our feelings about the past can.  What present feelings about certain events in your past are affecting you today?

The Bible isn’t concern with when something happened.  In the bible we are instructed to bring our mid-deeds into the light.  Which basically means that we’re not to keep what happened in our past hidden. In Ephesians 5:11 -13 tells us to bring things that are hidden into the light.

  • Why?

Besides allowing our wounds to be healed, our willingness to embrace our past is a way to process grief.  Here we can begin to let go of things that we were once connected to.  This process is how we can really be open to the present and all that God has planned for us. (2 Corinthians 6:11-13)  Hurts and losses we’ve experienced can keep us stuck emotionally and spiritually if we don’t deal with them.L

  • What things in your past are you currently tied to?
  • Where are you in the three-step grieving process?
    (1)  Realizing what you’ve lost; (2) Feeling the anger or sadness; (3) Letting go

Looking at our past not only helps us through the forgiving and grieving process, but it also gives us this moral inventory we find in our personal sin.  It gives us the framework to look at actions that only we are responsible for and gives us a chance to make it right.  To confess our actions to whomever we need to ask forgiveness.  I like what’s written on page 107 “Much of repentance is looking at the past to see what you learned, from whom yo learned it, and how you are repeating that pattern today.”  Taking the time to consider the actions in our past give us the opportunity to have a better present.

We simply cannot forget our past, for the big reason that at some point our entire lives will be our past.   We can’t change our past, but we can change how our past affects us.

  • We can forgive the people who hurt us.
  • We can let go of the demand that the people who hurt us somehow need to make it up to us.
  • We can let go of lost dreams and people whom we’ll never have relationship with again.
  • We can take our hurts to safe people who can help us heal.
  • We can be honest with things that we’ve learned about ourselves and bring everything into the light.
  • We can confess our sin and apologize to the people we’ve hurt.

These things can’t change the past, but it can change the way the past affects us.

If you’d like to join this study in real time…I’m teaching it at HopePark Wednesday Mornings & Thursday Nights. If you’re a Nashville local, the door is always open. We’re at 8001 Hwy. 70 South, just off I-40. Online at http://hopepark.com and on twitter @hopepark.

Me…well you can find me twittering @jodytodd.

Have a great week!


Questions and assigned quotes from the study by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend entitled “12 Christian Beliefs That Can Drive You Crazy.”


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