There are many actions we have taken in our past that come back to haunt us – both sins and foolishness – and in Luke, Jesus tells us about the consequences of allowing our past to resurface.
Luke 9:62 But Yeshua said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Hebrew Names Version)
We are forgiven through the washing of the blood. All sins are forgiven and cast as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12); we are not to revisit them in our heart and mind. To do so is to turn away from the plow, that is, to stop moving forward in our faith and we are thus cautioned by Jesus of the consequences of this kind of action. But this is not only about revisiting sins – I believe this refers to more than sin.
A Page from My Own Life
I am talking about those things in your past that cause you to become paralyzed into inaction and grief and shame.
My past is full of all the sins that plague each of us. When this happens, depression sets in, followed by a plummeting of my self worth and a period of paralysis when anything I try to do is never good enough – for me.
But I have also done many silly and stupid things in my life and every now and then I consider these foolish things and I am embarrassed, and in some cases, ashamed. It’s the inappropriate things, the embarrassments and the idiotic words and actions that make me cringe today.
What Does Paul Say about the Past?
Paul cautions us on this in Romans 6:3-7 :
3 Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been joined together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection;
6 knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin.
7 For he who died has been justified from sin. (Modern King James Version)
At times, it is hard to forget what happened in the past. We dredge them up and squirm in our chairs and souls because of them. Sometimes, I think we actually like to remember them, but I can’t, for the life of me, come up with a good reason why. Maybe we take some sort of perverse comfort in them because of the other things happening then – a happier time. Or … Maybe we just want to feel sorry for ourselves and pin present faults, failures and feelings on the past as an excuse. Maybe … it’s the enemy who wants to paralyze you into inaction and keep you under his thumb so you can’t accomplish anything for the kingdom.
When we take our hand from the plow and revisit the baggage of the old man, as Paul puts it, we are negating what Jesus did for us on the cross and that is a sin. At least, that’s what I’m calling it and it appears that Jesus is saying that, too.
There Is Hope
But you know what? Not all is lost. Unlike humans, Jesus will forgive and forget if you repent. He wants nothing more than to have you lead rich, full, and happy lives without the baggage of past sins, past indiscretions, or past foolishness that cause embarrassment. He wants you to be able to work for him and his kingdom. Jesus wants us to take command of the past and leave it right where it is – in the past.
If you have these feelings or if the past is constantly being pulled into your thoughts, repent of any action you may have done to dredge up the past. Pray that God will help you understand why it is important for you not to dredge up the memories. Ask for forgiveness and for help to fight any desires to resurrect that old man that was buried when you asked Jesus into you heart and life.
The Apostles’ Creed
It might also be one of those times when reaffirming your faith is necessary for your own good. To actually hear yourself declare …
“I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
And I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father, who will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
will work wonders to your feeling of being on the right path.
Thank you for reading. God bless … .