Practical Steps to Let Go of Your Past

(Victoria White) #1

Hey guys!

I was wondering about this… it is something I deeply struggle with. I understand that I could easily go to someone I know about this, but I like to hear multiple perspectives. Maybe others could benefit from this question too!

I also know that this is a very specific issue, and my story is obviously different from yours. But I am talking about GENERAL steps. Not super specific ones.

Thanks everyone :slight_smile:

(Renee Yetter) #2

Hi Victoria! I think this is a wonderful question. In my opinion, going forward requires that we surround ourselves with believers who love us deeply, but who will also hold us accountable. They can model forgiveness and love for us, teaching us to live as the redeemed people God says we are. Prayer is important too, and time in God’s Word to remind us that we are being made into the likeness of Christ, who gave Himself for us. Finally, counseling from a solid, Bible-based counselor can be extremely helpful in helping us live victorious and productive lives for Jesus.

It has been very difficult for me to let go of my past in some respects, so this issue has impacted me. I have done things in my life that grieve me to this day. Sometimes those memories resurface in my dreams, and bouts of pain and guilt still get me feeling defeated. It is clear from Scripture that God’s intention for us is to be healed from our past, be restored, and be renewed, but it’s difficult, and Satan is always ready to accuse us and drive us to feelings of shame and inadequacy.

May God touch, bless, and heal you!

(Lakshmi Mehta) #3

@Victoria_White, thank you so much for posting this question. I was actually thinking about this question just this evening.This is one of those areas where we may have answers but putting into practice is a lot more difficult. Life wounds our hearts and we dont know how to let go. We let our past failures haunt us, we are unable to fully forgive those who have deeply hurt us, those loved ones who have rejected us. Even when we are willing, we find ourselves failing and we are tempted to give up. I can share with you a few steps, not sure how practical they are but hopefully helpful. They are based on a few bible verses and what I have learned from my own experiences.

  1. Accept that it is okay to have not yet reached the goal: We are all a work in progress. We will get there in due time if we dont give up. God accepts us where we are. Forgive yourself as Jesus has taken all our condemnation for all our wrong-doing and even false accusations on Himself. If you find it difficult to forgive yourself, meditate through scriptures on grace in the new testament. The word of God is powerful.

Rom 7: 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

1Peter 4:19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should entrust their souls to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

  1. Be on mission for Jesus: God has a purpose for our lives. Though we may not always know our specific calling, we can all be sure that our one calling is that in all that we do, we let our heart be transformed by Christ Jesus. Having our mind focused on one thing, the mission of Jesus in our lives, we can keep our mind from wandering in ten different directions.

Phil 3:13-13 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead

  1. Forgive those who have wounded us: This is very important so that no bitterness arises in our heart against those who have wounded us. The burden of unforgiveness is heavier than the burden of forgiveness however difficult. When we dont forgive, we are unable to receive forgiveness from God, thoughts of pride, accusation, envy, malice etc. make our lives miserable. We can take comfort that one day God will do justice. Forgiveness doesn’t mean continuing relationship which requires the other party involved to do some soul-searching.

Heb 12:15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

  1. Let go of both our failures and accomplishments as a means of significance: Nothing that we missed or gained is as important as the love of Jesus. God’s love surpasses it all. I have been through situations where even after extending forgiveness, the past has power to control me if I dwell on those thoughts. All I do is make sure that new decisions are not based on these doubts. Sometimes it is hard to let go of feelings but they dont have to master us.

Phil 3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.

  1. Get counsel from good friends/counselor. There are some who are too willing to give advice who themselves have a hard time letting go of past. We can surround ourselves with those who will encourage us and help us with God’s vision for us.

God bless!

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #4

Step 5 is tough if there is no one around you can trust. It sure can be a struggle.

(Helen Tan) #5

It is impossible on our own strength no matter how much we try. Only the Precious Blood of Jesus can erase a sinful past and wash away our sins to make us white as snow. The hymn describes it so well:

Jesus has paid the price to right our wrongs. We can never do it ourselves and hence can’t let go on our own. We need to focus on His Sacrifice on the Cross and His deep sacrificial love for us.

(Butch) #6

Hi Victoria

That is a great question. I think there are many different steps as we each have our own path we take. We must forgive the person or people that have hurt us.

Some people may never get over whatever they faced, example, Charles Spurgeon. He faced depression most of his adult life after, during one service someone yelled fire and all those people got hurt trying to get out.

Paul asked to have the thorn in his side removed and God told him my grace is enough. In our weakness he is strong.

The best we can do is Look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is no one else. Isaiah 45:22

We also need to put on our armor of God. It may be spiritual warfare and not something we can get over.

You pose a great question that many people wish to find an answer for. A lot of people carry around hurts from the past.

(Lakshmi Mehta) #7

@O_wretched_man, yes sadly it is difficult to meet matured believers in whom we can place our trust. It is ultimately only the Holy Spirit who can truly comfort and counsel our inner self.

@Helen_Tan, appreciate the emphasis by saying it is impossible on our own strength and it’s only through understanding of the precious blood of Jesus. It seems in some areas of life, it is very difficult to let go even when we are willing and have prayed much. It’s like the `thorn in the flesh ’ that Paul describes that doesn’t go away even after prayer. It could be spiritual warfare as Butch described. Only Jesus can give peace that surpasses understanding.

(Butch) #8

That is a great point. We must remember only Jesus can give us perfect peace. Him and him alone.

(Jules) #9

Hi @Victoria_White!
I have been practicing applying the following verse whenever I have intruding thoughts:

2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Please also take a moment to read a section of Barnes’ Notes, a commentary on this verse:

And every high thing … - Every exalted opinion respecting the dignity and purity of human nature; all the pride of the human heart and of the understanding. All this is opposed to the knowledge of God, and all exalts itself into a vain self-confidence. People entertain vain and unfounded opinions respecting their own excellency, and they feel that they do not need the provisions of the gospel and are unwilling to submit to God.

In response to “letting go of your past”, I am assuming that the struggle you have to let go is because you may have memory flashbacks that remind you of the event or the emotions you felt about it. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)

I think, even after we have asked for forgiveness &/or forgave those that may have hurt us, these memories can keep us from fully receiving God’s mercy and grace. In a sense, it is the enemy that continually rekindles the pride of the flesh in us, as those thoughts/memories try to get us to think God is not in control and that He doesn’t know what He is doing.

Each and every time my thoughts take me away from focusing on Jesus (i.e., unhealthy thoughts), I say to myself that “I take these captive to You Jesus, in obedience, because I trust You.” Sometimes it seems like I say it a thousand times a day, but I’ve encountered that it helps me refocus and remember who is in charge of me, Christ Jesus.

Hope this helps a little :v: :pray: