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How to Stop Living in the Past So You Don’t Miss Your Future

But I saved the best for last.

“We either go through what happens and manage disappointments well, or they manage us.”—Christine Caine

Come on! That’s gold.

You must face your past if you want to get on to your future.

In order to forget your past and not live in the past, you must have a future to look forward to.

What is your future?

It’s building the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. It’s bringing heaven to earth. It’s living for something bigger than yourself.

Paul says the reason he can live for the future is because he has a future worth living for. The future for the Christian is heaven. It’s a place where we will not experience hurt or pain. Our future is amazing, and when we move on from our past we move toward our future. The Christian is to bring heaven to earth. And in Jesus we have everything we need to move on from our past.

Paul goes on to conclude this section by writing…

All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (Philippians 3:15–16)

Listen, if you are mature in your faith you will continually be moving on from your past. You and you alone can control your thought life. And Paul says, “You are responsible for the truth you currently possess.”

In other words, if this is true you are responsible to put it into practice. You must say goodbye to your past and hello to your future.

That means that we have to face our problems. You have to admit that you have a problem and that problem is leading to more problems. We have to be honest with ourselves.

As Christians we don’t run away from our problems and pretend they don’t exist. We face them and make them obedient in the name of Jesus.

You Will Miss Your Future by Living in the Past

According to Karen Ann Kennedy, a certified health coach, there are five questions you can ask yourself to see if you are living in the past.

Are You Living in the Past?

  1. Is there one particular period from the past that you find yourself clinging on to?
  2. Do you feel that you will never reach that level of happiness/status/satisfaction/acceptance/etc. again?
  3. Are you frustrated with where you currently are in life?
  4. Are you fearful of the future?
  5. Does thinking about the past actually make you sad?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are living in the past. The past can be fun to think about, but the past is lethal for you to live in.

Application: Identify what areas you live in the past. What would it take for you to move to the future God wants for you?

This article was excerpted from the new book You Misspelled Christian.

You Misspelled Christian

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Rob Shepherd is the founding and lead pastor of Next Level Church in Yorktown, VA. His first book, Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You was read by a New York Times best selling author. Pound for pound, Rob is the best white pastor who raps. Rob and his wife, Monica, have twins—known as the Spoofers).