Getting Over Mistakes of the Past

man with big yellow box on his shoulders.

The definition of a mistake is “an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong.” When you look up the word, you see synonyms like inaccuracy, misinterpretation, misstep, blunder, fault, and misunderstanding.  These are words that many of us don’t like. “Fault” is the one we really detest, and when our wives or girlfriends point out that we’re at fault or that we’ve made a mistake, we typically call it nagging. The plain and simple truth is that a lot of us don’t like to be wrong. The flip side of this is that we think we always have to be right. That’s a lot of pressure, because we’re human and we’re going to make mistakes; some of them are going to be whoppers.

As men of God, we have to be particularly careful that we don’t allow our need to be right all the time to slip into an attitude of arrogance. This need to cover up our mistakes or not acknowledge them gives pride and arrogance fuel. Proverbs 16:18 (NIV) lays out a very important piece of wisdom. It says “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”  There’s no question about it, pride and arrogance will cause destruction. I’ve seen it destroy marriages and relationships, and I’ve also seen how it blinds people to such a degree that they absolutely refuse to hold themselves accountable. They twist things around to completely absolve themselves of responsibility. When it gets to this level, the need to be right has become a stronghold. It’s something that the enemy can and will use to keep the person in darkness.

The most destructive aspect of arrogance is the hurt and pain that it causes others. In its darkest state, the need to be right can be emotionally abusive or manipulative towards others. This is when arrogance wraps its tentacles around our lives and causes us to spiral downward very quickly. In a heated disagreement, it will cause a person to lose control of any sense of fairness and compassion. They must have the final word, and won’t stop until they’ve proved their point. One of the reasons that it gets to this level is that the person may have baggage from mistakes they’ve made in the past.

Carrying the weight of sin and negativity of the past will most definitely impact our present and future. This is why the Apostle Paul said in Hebrews 12:1(NLT), “Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” God will not overstep our free-will choice. It is our responsibility to strip away the negativity that blocks us from love, because it will weigh us down, and keep us from having endurance in the race we’re called to run.

It’s a huge blunder to sleep on the importance of looking at hurtful or traumatic events that happened in our formative or childhood years. Too many of us don’t want to do this. We wall ourselves off from those experiences because the memory of them causes emotional pain. The truth is that the sting of past events can potentially undermine our faith in the present IF they are not confronted with God’s love. We betray ourselves when we don’t realize we’re stuck in habit patterns formed from old pain. We can be jammed up this way and not even realize the extent to which we’re hurting ourselves and others. Not only does this affect our relationship with Heavenly Father, but again, it brings our lives down and can destroy other relationships as well.

As Christians, we are commanded by God to be people of love, and love doesn’t cause harm to others. 1Corinthians 13:4-5(NLT) tells us, “4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” Any time that we put up barriers around our hearts, we block God’s love from working on our behalf. His plan is about progression. He doesn’t want us to regress or be stagnant. We’re supposed to learn lessons of love and grace from past mistakes, so that we can become better from them.

Mistakes that we made in our past relationships can be on repeat because we didn’t acknowledge them, but tried to move beyond any pain we may have endured or caused as quickly as possible. We then end up transporting the baggage of the past onto the next relationship. As Christians, we ought to be able to truly say that we may not be everything we can be in Christ, but we are better today than we were yesterday because of him. This is what God wants for us, to be perfected and made better from our mistakes and to continue pressing toward the mark of His call.

We cannot walk in victory by living a lie. Our spiritual goal is not to remain stuck in the past, but to eradicate anything that keeps us tied to the pain, embarrassment, and repetition of past mistakes. To do this, we must learn to handle mistakes God’s way, which is to acknowledge the error and repent from it. 1 John 1:9(NLT) tells us, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” We need to ask for Heavenly Father’s forgiveness, seek forgiveness from the person we’ve injured, and then forgive ourselves. Taking these steps will help us to heal from past mistakes because they set us free through the liberty of the love of Christ, and most importantly, they keep our hearts humbled and obedient to God. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

“Getting Over Mistakes of the Past” written by JMack. 4theChristianMan.Com© 2017. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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