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This article addresses those times in our past that were not good, and how to get rid of those memories. I offer the greatest thing I know on how to eliminate defeating thoughts of the past. I have applied this information in my life many times and it has helped me greatly.
Everyone faces challenging times in their lives. Sometimes they are small; other times they are huge. It’s true, life has it’s ups and downs; it’s highs and lows. Sometimes, the low points can be overwhelming.
You and I could sit around and talk about our past – the good and the bad, the highs and the lows. The bad times would look ugly, and we might feel badly about them. The good times could be encouraging, and might make us feel good.
But the reality is, it doesn’t matter how good or how bad the past is. It doesn’t matter if you have more bad in your past than good, or more good in your past than bad. It really doesn’t matter because everything that has happened to you, and to me, is in the past and we can’t change it.
No Time Machine
I can’t undo my mistakes. I can’t go back in time and make different choices. There is nothing in my past I can change. I also can’t live in the future either; it’s not here yet. Sure, I can desire my future to be better than today, but I’m not there yet.
So guess what? You and I are left with only one time to live: the present, today, this moment in time. The big question is not, “What did you do in the past?” It’s not, “What are you going to do in the future?” The big question is, “What are you going to do right now?”
Do You Want To Take A Peek?
We all want something better in our future, even if things are going well. Have you ever heard someone say, “I sure hope nothing in my life gets any better!” Of course not.
When we’re in difficult and challenging situations, we just want it all to go away; we want to be happy; we don’t want any more stress. But our thoughts and actions today play a major role in determining where our lives will be in the future.
Even though the future is not yet here, you and I can take a quick peek; a sneak preview. Do you want to see the trailer for your future? If you want to know about your future, take a look at your thoughts and actions today.
What Are You Thinking About Today?
If you want your life to change, you must first change your thoughts to harmonize with where you want your life to go. Every self help book or motivational speaker communicates this truth in one way or another. Outside circumstances do not change until someone changes on the inside first.
The Bible is very clear about this, too. Many people are familiar with the verse that says in part, “As he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Scriptures also say, “Guard your heart (your inner thinking) with all diligence, for out of it (your own heart) are the issues of life (your life).
And here’s something important to consider. Whether your life is in a good place or a lousy place, this is just where you’re at right now. That’s all you need to attach to it.
Where I’m at right now in my life is simply where I’m at right now. It may have a lot to do with choices I’ve made in the past, but I cannot change the past, so this is just where I’m at right now.
Get Rid of Your Defeating Past
I don’t know what wrong you’ve done in your life, but I do know we all miss the mark from time to time. And the greatest thing I know about how to get rid of defeating thoughts from the past is to understand and accept God’s forgiveness.
Some people don’t think they deserve God’s forgiveness; they don’t feel worthy. Others think what they’ve done is so bad, God could never forgive them. Some even think they’ve sinned so many times, God has given up on them.
Receiving forgiveness from God has nothing to do with deserving it or being worthy; none of us deserve it or are worthy of it.
Forgiveness from God has nothing to do with how sorry you are for what you did.
Forgiveness from God has nothing to do with you promising to never do it again.
Forgiveness from God is not withheld from those who fall, over and over.
Receiving God’s forgiveness has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with Jesus Christ paying the full price, the penalty for all sins. If he was the full payment, what is left to pay? What is left to earn? What is left to do?
You’ve Been Forgiven!
God has forgiven you! The Bible declares we have forgiveness of sins. Once you understand that your forgiveness is based on Christ’s sacrifice as the full payment for your sins, it’s up to you to accept His forgiveness.
The Scriptures tell us to forgive others even as God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven us. You’ve been forgiven!
God does not want you living in guilt, shame, condemnation and unworthiness. That’s what happens when you continue to think sad thoughts of your past. The greatest thing I know on how to get rid of those defeating thoughts of the past is to understand and accept God’s forgiveness.
Mentally let go and release your past. “I know I did wrong, but God has forgiven me because Jesus paid the full price and I accept that. I am not going to live in guilt and shame any longer. He has forgiven me, and I am going to move on.”
How Bad Are Your Sins?
When you get saved, you belong to God. He becomes your heavenly Father. You are His child and nothing can ever separate His love from you. You are a child of God. How precious to God His children must be.
So just how bad is it for someone to murder God’s children? That’s what the apostle Paul did before he was converted. He maliciously hunted down, imprisoned, and oversaw the murder of God’s children, actually thinking he was doing the right thing.
Once Paul got saved, can you imagine his guilt realizing he brutalized and killed God’s children? How does one handle that? How do you get past that? How could he ever expect God to forgive him?
Paul came to understand Christ paid the price for all sins: yours, mine, and his. Paul had to accept that God forgave him. And if you have any doubt of just how big God’s forgiveness is, consider this.
There were many writers of the Scriptures, but one author, God. The Bible says those writers were directed by the spirit of God. In others words God, the author, told them what to write.
God entrusted them to write His Words, so you and I could read and know about God and the things of God. God refers to them as “holy men of God.” And one of those writers was Paul!
Are you kidding me? God entrusted him to write Scriptures? Obviously this indicates Paul’s deliberate process of changing his life and living for God, but it also gives us a very clear picture of just how big God’s forgiveness really is.
What Have You Done?
What about you? What is in your past that is so terrible that God cannot forgive you? Jesus paid the price for all sins.
Accept God’s forgiveness, because if you don’t, defeating thoughts from your past will keep you from moving ahead and having a blessed future.
That’s how Paul did it. He wrote that he wasn’t worthy to be called an apostle because he persecuted the Church of God, but said, “But by the grace of God, I am what I am.” He also wrote what he did with his own mind: “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before.”
Paul had to first understand God’s forgiveness and then accept it. He then made the choice to forget, or refuse to think about his past, and instead focus his mind on where he wanted his life to go. He guarded his own heart with all diligence, and we can do the same, thought by thought and day by day.
You have been forgiven!
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