Your mind is a powerful thing, and your thoughts have the ability to affect your performance in every area of life. In fact, your life cannot go forward if your mind is going backward! Thinking and dwelling on past hurts or mistakes can actually cause us to relive the pain and prevent us from moving forward.
In this verse, the apostle Paul is talking about moving toward spiritual maturity in Christ and the importance of “forgetting what lies behind.” Why is it so important to shake off the past? Because if we spend today thinking and dwelling on yesterday’s mistakes, then we’ll never make the progress we desire because guilt and condemnation will steal our energy!
I used to feel like I had to “pay” for my sins by feeling bad about myself. If it was a “little” sin, I might feel guilty for a day or so. If it was something “big,” it might last an entire week! Then God helped me realize that Jesus paid the price for my sin and guilt. When we sin, the greatest thing we can do is confess it to the Lord, receive His forgiveness, then move forward (1 John 1:9). We can leave the guilt behind!
A professional athlete is a great example of how to do this. He has developed the ability to think about the next successful play and not the unsuccessful one that he just had. He may examine his less-than-stellar performance in order to learn from it, but he doesn’t have to wallow in the negativity of it.
What we choose to remember and what we choose to forget has a lot to do with our future. When King David was depressed, he chose to remember the great victories he had before and it increased his faith. In the same way, you can choose to think about all the great things God has done for you and the “victories” you’ve had in the past. As you do, it will build your faith and give you confidence for the days ahead.
God says in Isaiah 43:18-19, “Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing!” I encourage you to get your mind off your failures and disappointments and begin to look forward in your thinking. Because God is greater than your past, and He has a wonderful plan for your future.
Make the Mind Connection: Choosing not to dwell on past mistakes will give you confidence and help you grow in Christ.
Adapted from The Mind Connection by Joyce Meyer.
In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
In These Are the Generations, Mr. Bae describes God’s faithfulness and the power of the gospel to penetrate the darkness. His grandfather, parents, and his own family were all persecuted for sharing their faith in Christ. But an interesting thing happened when Mr. Bae was imprisoned for telling a friend about God: his faith grew. The same was true for his parents when they were sentenced to a concentration camp—they continued to share Christ’s love even there. Mr. Bae found the promise of John 1:5 to be true: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Before His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus warned His disciples about the trouble they’d face. They would be rejected by people who “will do such things because they have not known the Father or me” (16:3). But Jesus offered words of comfort: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (v. 33).
While many believers in Jesus haven’t experienced persecution on the level of that endured by the family of Mr. Bae, we can expect to face trouble. But we don’t have to give in to discouragement or resentment. We have a Helper—the Holy Spirit Jesus promised to send. We can turn to Him for guidance and comfort (v. 7). The power of God’s presence can hold us steady in dark times. By Linda Washington
REFLECT & PRAY:
Heavenly Father, please protect Your children who are experiencing persecution.
Credit: Our Daily Bread
Thanks to Lyle Dietrich for providing the content for the weekly inspirational bulletin.
What is the best way to end an argument?
| Maybe the better question is, “how do the two of you end an argument?” Let me give you a picture of what I think is a good way to end an argument.|
First, it is important that Nancy and I have both listened to each other to the point where we understand each other’s position. Second, we have to pick a solution that is fair to both of us. It won’t usually be equally fair to both but it will be one that allows our marriage to win. Finally, we each acknowledge our part in the argument, apologize to each other, and move forward. So, how do the two of you end an argument? If it is a win/lose situation, that needs to change. What about following the three steps above? What do you have to lose by giving it a try? What if it works for you the way it does for us? Wouldn’t that be a better way to end an argument?
DON’T JUST SURVIVE! – Your Marriage Was Meant To Thrive!