Remembering the Past…

I know the scriptures say to forget the past, Philippians 3:13…

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,”

We do this so that we do not stay stuck in the past or hold on to old patterns and ways that we have chosen to correct. Forgetting the past, allows us to move ahead unburdened from past actions, guilt, or condemnation. This is wonderful and very freeing.

However, I don’t think it is a blanket statement about all things, especially things we should learn from. First Thessalonians 5:21 says,

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”

So, if I have learned something in the past that has helped me, I need to remember that. Also, if I have seen events and struggles in the past, it is good to remember that as well so that I don’t go down the same path.

I thought about a quote from Winston Churchill, which I posted with this article where he shares a similar concept.

“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Winston Churchill.

There are so many things in history that we can learn from and even though I do know that every event in life needs to be evaluated in the present, according to current situations, it doesn’t mean I can’t draw from past wisdom and see if it helps or not.

Sometimes it seems like my whole life is about learning from past mistakes. I do try to not repeat those “wrong turns” and make a new path. And I do know that I should forgive myself for any of those mistakes that hurt people or hurt myself, but just to be honest…that’s easier said than done.

I have the value and sometimes the misfortune of looking back over 72+ years and remembering what I have learned from my mistakes. Some individuals that were hurt by me in past, are not in touch with me anymore, so I can’t ask for their forgiveness. In that case, all I can do is forgive myself and pray for God to bless them.

Some individuals whom I have hurt don’t want to be in touch with me and in that case, I again have to forgive myself and ask for God to bless them.

I will say that I could probably spend all my days trying to remember who I need to ask forgiveness from, but I don’t think that is necessary. If it comes to mind, I will do it, but otherwise, I just need to love the people I am with now.

Maybe it’s just the way my mind works, but I also think history is a really big thing to remember. The rise and fall of so many cultures are documented for all to see in history and to me, that is worth remembering. What did they do right and what did they do wrong and what value could that be to me today?

There is talk today of “righting the wrongs of the past” which a lot of time revolves around money, but honestly, how can we even do that???

What I can do is live love NOW. Do the right thing NOW. I can learn from the past so that I can be a better person NOW and that’s about it.

Duke Clarke

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