During the past few months I have spent an awful lot of time dwelling on the mistakes of the past. So much so that I literally made myself ill!!
I knew I shouldn’t have been doing it but I kept doing so anyway. I knew it couldn’t affect my future, but I kept doing it anyway. I knew it was far from healthy. But I kept dwelling on those past mistakes and failings anyway. It was an excruciatingly sad, painful and lonely
period. It was also a very pointless exercise in personal torture.
It is good, and indeed very important that we recognise our mistakes and failings. By recognising them we can make certain decisions to ensure we do not make such errors again. But once we have done this we must do our very best to move on, and not dwell on those failings over and over and over again. Trust me – it doesn’t help in any way at all.
Many of us believe that because our God loves us so much and so unconditionally (and He really does), that life should be a smooth journey – no issues, no mistakes, no failures, and no problems. We all expect a smooth, hassle free journey.
Where on earth did we get this false concept
Let’s take a look at a few of the main characters in the bible.
‘I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you’
Genesis 12 vs 2
When God told Abraham he would be the father of nations do you think He meant that Abraham would father children through both Sarah and his maid servant Haggai?
Who knows – right?
Sarah’s idea for Abraham to lay with his maid servant caused rifts between both Sarah and Abraham, and Sarah and Haggi.
So whether or not it was all part of God’s plan or simply Abraham’s error of judgment the fact is that when God told Abraham He would make him into a great nation, He had already made provision for human decision making.
In other words Abraham’s journey may not have been a smooth one; there were some big bumps along the way. But God’s promise to him still stood.
‘One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them as they laboured. He saw an Egyptian beating an Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no-one he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
…….. When Pharoah heard of this he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharoah and went to live in Midian’.
Exodus 2 vs 11-15
God had destined Moses to lead the Israelites out of Israel. Moses’ purpose was to lead Israel out of captivity.
Yet, he had to flee Egypt because he had committed murder and hence spent years in the wilderness in what I’m fairly sure was a state of remorse and fear. Life’s journey certainly wasn’t smooth for Moses.
David’s life never ceases to amaze me. He was told he would be king at the age of 17. He then spent the next decade running away from Saul and living in caves with vagabonds. Yet, he was still the future king of Israel.
It most certainly wasn’t a smooth assent to the throne. Yes, at the age of 17 he was anointed king of Israel – his purpose in life. But it did not mean that everything would run smoothly. Indeed, the decade he spent hiding in caves was the period of learning that he needed to go through in order to be the king that God had destined him to be.
But that is a topic for another day.
For today, let’s just take note that David was always destined to be a great king. His very bumpy journey to the seat of the throne was part of his development.
Let’s tarry with David a little further.
David slept with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. The sex was obviously scintillating, and indeed the passion so great that he arranged for her husband to be killed on the front line. Bathsheba gave birth to a son, which the Lord took away as punishment to David.
However the bible says;
‘Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and lay with her. She gave birth to a son and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him’
2 Samuel 12 vs 24
King Solomon, despite his many mistakes and failings was blessed with great wisdom and went on to build God’s temple.
So, it was Solomon’s purpose to build God’s temple. David played his role, all-be-it in a rather twisted manner, in bringing Solomon into the world.
Now, please don’t get me wrong. I am most definitely not saying that it is ok to sleep with another man’s wife. I am most definitely not saying it is ok to have someone killed.
What I AM saying is that, just as David did, several times, we sometimes make huge mistakes; we sometimes fail big; we sometimes fall huge. But it’s all part of this long rollercoaster journey that we call life.
Yes, you fell. But that does not mean you should focus on your fall so much that you forget why you’re here. The fact that you failed does not mean that you will not succeed in the end. Yes, you’ve made huge mistakes, but that does not mean that you cannot get it right.
Stop looking back at the past!
Stop looking over your shoulder!
Get up and Go again!
Our mistakes and failings, so long as we learn from them, are very often what mould us to fulfil our purpose; part of our overall development to be who we are destined to be.
Don’t expect life’s journey to be smooth. There’s nothing that suggests that we should expect hassle free development, and hassle free lives.
Recognise the mistakes and learn from them.
But do not dwell on them. Dwelling on the past will take up way too much mind territory.
In the overall scheme of God’s purpose for you, the mind needs to be free to maximise the present as well as visualise the future.