5 Steps to Peace with the Past
It was Sunday morning and the altar was littered with luggage, so naturally I wondered what the morning message would bring. The week before, Wayne had filled the platform with life-sized, cardboard replicas of Batman, Superman, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America. What was this creative artist thinking now? The sermon turned out to be about the baggage we carry through life and how Jesus wants to help us lighten the load. Points made that morning left me thinking about some simple steps for finding peace with God and putting the past to rest.
When staring down a past failure, I try to remember:
1. Be Humble
Human pride often keeps us from accepting help or sharing our burden with others. We think people will think less of us if we aren’t always strong and in command of our lives, but Jesus knew our need for community, support, and encouragement. We were never meant to deal with difficulties alone, which is why we need to push our pride aside and humbly reach out to others in hard times.
2. Cast Your Cares Upon Him
Too many times we feel like it is our responsibility to carry the weight of each day, until finally we feel that our backs might break under the strain. Jesus says to cast our cares upon Him, remembering how much he cares for us. We don’t have to walk a million miles with a two-ton sack on our backs to please him or make up for the sins of the past. We can leave our baggage with Jesus and move forward, free of their clumsy weight.
3. Be Sober
The word sobriety reflects clear headedness, self-awareness, and a keen understanding of what is right. When we listen to what the world says to us, and forget what God’s Word says about us, we feel defeated. Soon self-hatred and loathing become a habit, even an addition. Letting go of the past means letting go of foggy thinking and false concepts about who we are and what we’re worth to God. The Lord says you are fearfully and wonderfully made. From His perspective, that settles the matter.
4. Be Vigilant
Negativity is everywhere and harsh words can hurt our feelings, but we must remember that feelings aren’t always dependable narrators. When feeling like you are unloved, unworthy, or unappreciated ask yourself this question: Do I know this to be true? Look around you for a mature and loving Christian, then ask them for honest feedback and listen carefully to what they say. Finding peace with the past often means vigilantly following those who aggressively pursue God.
5. Never Give Up On Love
Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. These are lyrics from our childhood that remind us that no matter what the world says about us, God loves us. He always has, and he always will. His love surrounds us. His love sustains us. His love shapes us, and his love empowers us. We are nothing without Him, but with God’s love, the past can be put to rest.