"Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22 & 23
You are not your past. You can have a fresh start. God reminds us His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23).
Yes, we can learn from the past. If you’ve lost someone’s trust, realize you have amends to make. You may have a long road to re-establish that trust. How? Prove yourself. Tell the truth. Be early rather than just on time or late. Do more than expected without someone asking. Ask forgiveness (see my April 3 post on forgiveness). God commands us to forgive but does not command us to trust others. So earn it.
Others may want to condemn you for your past. Consider if their remarks have any helpful truth. Take that truth and use it. But if it’s toxic, you can reject the untruth. Believe God. He always tells the truth (Psalmsm31:5).
Thoughts of the past will come up – many things can trigger memories. But you don’t have to dwell on them. Replace those thoughts. How do you clear memory? It’s not as easy as your delete key. But consider that you control your thoughts. Choose thoughts that remind you:
God loves you. In fact, He is crazy about you;
God forgives if you trust Him and repent (1 John 1:9). That means you turn away from your sin. Once forgiven, He puts your sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalms 103:8-12), even behind His back (2 Cor. 5:18-19). He will not bring them up.
Put off the old thoughts and put on new ones (Ephesians 4:22-24). Frame the new thoughts positively. Why? We remember the negative. To equalize a negative thought you need 8-10 positive ones. When you say “Don’t steal” you have to think of what you want to get rid of and then add the negative. So instead, say “Do work and help others.” Ephesians 4:28 gives several other examples. This is important because you talk to yourself more than anyone else. Of course, it’s not audible usually, but you say things in your head constantly. Memorize scripture that encourages you. I’ve found business cards, 3 x 5 cards, or post-its work great. Carry around that card or put it where you will see it often. It takes time to reprogram your thoughts, especially if you’ve carried them a long time.
Finally, ask God to help you. He has given believers the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1-14) to help us understand and remind us of what’s we’ve learned.
There’s nothing better than a clean slate. Take the load off your mind and shoulders. Be free.
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