Monday, June 20, 2011

Your Past Is Calling. Should You Answer?

This entry was inspired by a message preached at my church yesterday. I wasn't there for the service, however the gist of the message was that your ex is calling you but you should leave your past behind. Your ex in this case would be past experiences in your life. So I'm reframing the message to ask should you answer when your past is calling you?

What do I mean by your past? Well, I'm thinking of the reminders of your faults and mistakes. The things that you should or shouldn't have done and the things that you should or shouldn't have said. And oh yeah, what about when you let go of your standard(s)? Your past is calling to make you reflect on the times that you've failed--be it others, yourself, or God. Are you going to take the time to stop and answer the call by wasting time thinking on your past?

I said it's a waste of time to think on your past because, as the old saying goes, there is nothing that can be done about it. Granted you can try to correct some of your mistakes, but the actions that took place cannot be changed. It's helpful to learn from your mistakes and failures. When you do that, you know what roads not to take when it comes to making decisions or choices in your life. However, dwelling on your past failures only keeps you bogged down in the present. Your desire may be to move forward, but how can you when you're so busy looking at the past?

I'll talk about me and may be that will help. I've made mistakes that I've dwelt on over and over and over again. In other words, my past was calling and I took the time to answer. I thought about, "Well, if I hadn't done that, maybe this would have been different," or, "Why did you let that happen? You knew better." Yet, the one thought that has tripped me up the most is, "Now I can't look down on others." Yep, I said it. In my recent past, the idea that as long as you stay focused you won't make certain mistakes has not been my reality. But when I stop to look at it, how sad is that? How sad is it to have a standard not so much to help others but to be able to look down on others and judge in your head and your heart internally (although you may never judge them verbally)?

Okay, this post may not be for everybody, and I may respin it to make it more general another day. But to those who can relate, let me say this. Stop answering the call of your past. You and I have made mistakes, and guess what we've learned? We're human. That's what humans do. However, do we use our humanity to continue to make intentional mistakes? No, we do not. Nor do we continue to try and live a life that allows us to look down on those who aren't living up to our standard. We take the mistakes, learn from them, leave them in the past, and move on with life. The lessons learned from them have the ability to make us stronger because now we have a better understanding of our weaknesses. We no longer depend upon our integrity because we realize we're just as human as the next person. Perfection doesn't stop here, and we should no longer expect it to.

So when your past comes calling, don't answer. It's not worth your time.

John 8:1-11 KJV

v. 1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
v. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
v. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
v. 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
v. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
v. 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
v. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
v. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
v. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
v. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
v. 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

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