Looking back is important. We have to remember lessons we’ve learned from our past mistakes. We are better people because of those lessons learned. What we can’t do is re-live those mistakes by playing them over and over. This is a fast and sure way to fall into a pit of despair. “I shouldn’t have done that, or I should have done that, or if I had only made that decision, I wouldn’t be where I am now.” It’s too easy to look back and see all of our regrets. We all made mistakes, and we still do.
I’ve come to realize over my almost half century of life that looking back is important so that I don’t keep making the same mistakes. However, looking back and dwelling on past hurts and wrong doing will only bring us shame, more pain, self-doubt, and a longing to go back and change things (which we can’t do). God tells us that he separates our sins from us as far as the East is from the West. Psalm 103:12 says “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” The East and West are separated infinitely. God forgives our sins from the past like that and removes them from us when we ask Him for forgiveness.
If you’re like me, you have many regrets, but I know that because I’ve asked God for forgiveness, He has forgiven me. Guess what else? He has forgotten those sins/mistakes. I used to keep bringing them up by going back to them. I don’t believe God wants us to do that. He wants us to learn from our mistakes, make changes, move forward in confidence, and have joy. John 15:11 says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
So friends, let the baggage be what it is: a lesson to us; but then let’s ask for forgiveness, drop the baggage at the feet of Jesus, and move forward toward the joyful life God wants for us.