The views, thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author. They are not and do not necessarily reflect the opinion(s) or position(s) of the organization, board of directors and/or any other individual(s) or entity (ies) affiliated or unaffiliated with Christians in Public Service, Inc.
How many times have you started to offer advice, spearhead a project, run for office, write a book, go for that great opportunity that seems a perfect match for your skills and interests, only to shirk back as you are reminded of a past mistake, an error in judgment or sin you feel disqualifies you? You quickly dismiss the idea and sadly allow yet another opportunity to slip away because you are held prisoner by a past you cannot change and one you cannot shake.
Take heart, you are not alone. Think of the smartest, sharpest, got it going on person you know. Close your eyes and visualize them in their role (i.e., as CEO, doctor, banker, teacher, preacher, lawyer, actor, artist, architect, professor, politician, etc.). I’ll wait. Got it? Eyes open?
At some point in life and in every storied career, every successful person has done something they wish they hadn’t, said something they’ve wished a thousand times they had not said, or acted in a way that didn’t reflect their true character. It’s called being human.
The major difference between success and failure is the absolute determination to keep moving forward despite human failure. The sheer determination to persevere.
Successful people have learned to take control over their past so that it can no longer take control of them, and so can you. These A.C.T.I.O.N. steps are designed to help you do just that:
Acknowledge to yourself what you did was wrong – don’t try to justify it and don’t deny it. Denial in the mind leads to depression in the heart. Depression is repressed anger; and the one person at whom you are most likely angry is yourself. Own it or it will continue to own you.
Confess it. Confession cleanses. Five of the most freeing words in the English language are these, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.” By not admitting the part you played, the burden doubles because you’re carrying the weight of your guilt and the weight of the result of your guilt. That’s a heavy load to carry. If you can, go back and make things right beginning with these five powerful little words. If that’s not possible or if the one you hurt, wronged, or disrespected doesn’t or won’t accept it, then shake it off and keep moving. You would have done your part and the weight will no longer be yours to carry, but theirs.
Take it to a higher power. For me, that’s God. Once you have owned up and ‘fessed up, it’s time to give it up. You have reconciled it internally, to the extent possible you have reconciled it externally; and now, you must reconcile it eternally. God freely forgives and by taking these initiatives, you have positioned yourself to be blessed, healed and set free – never to be bound again by your past.
Ignore and cut loose those who refuse to accept you for who you are today because they want to continue to crucify you for what you did yesterday. You’re past that now. Misery loves company and these people themselves are stuck, and resent the fact that you no longer are. Ignore them and keep moving forward!
Onward and upward. Reject the temptation to look back on a past that is now past history. If you are a visual person, as I am, do as I did. Once I did all I’ve lain out here, I wrote down on a sheet of paper things of my past that had held me hostage for years. I placed the list in my fireplace, set a match to it and watched it and my past go up in flames. If you don’t have a fireplace, go to your local grocery. Have a plain balloon filled with helium and be sure they attach a string. Take it home and in the privacy of your home, take out a Sharpie, and do as I did with my sheet of paper. Write on the balloon those things that have held you hostage but you have now dealt with. Take it outside, let the string go and watch the balloon as it flies swiftly away, taking with it, your past, never to return again. Visualize these the next time you are tempted to look back. There is nothing left on which to look back.
Never be held hostage again. Live life as God intended it to be lived – in Him – and always forward. Onward!
“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”- Alexander Graham Bell
Published on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 @ 2:21 PM CDT