By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service
CLAREMORE, OK (ANS – January 3, 2016) — “Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new”— 2 Corinthians 5:17 (CEV). Although I’ve not seen it, I’ve heard the lyrics to the song associated with Disney’s popular animated movie, “Frozen.” Sung by little girls who have seen the film, the song’s title is “Let it Go.”
As I was thinking about the New Year, I looked up the lyrics to the catchy tune. When I read them, I thought, “How appropriate for anyone who wants to let go of the past and embrace the new?”
Recently, I was having lunch with a couple of friends. As usual, we shared several belly laughs when we revealed some of our deepest desires and thoughts—just girl talk. While I can’t recall how the subject led to our past, I found myself confessing some of the more “ornery” things I’d done before moving to Claremore 10 years ago.
Since my friends have only known the person I am now, they were surprised by my confessions. While those escapades weren’t necessarily earth-shattering, they were definitely a part of the person I was before Jesus got ahold of me.
When we belong to Him, we become a new creation. He forgets our past. Everything becomes new. Even the Old Testament reminds us in Isaiah 43:18 to “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past (NIV).
The beginning of a new year is a good time to examine our lives and let go of those things holding us back from spiritual growth. Growing spiritually requires us to be intentional.
I came across the following suggestions in an article titled “Seven Steps to Letting Go of the Past” by Susan Gregory and thought it appropriate.
First, let go of the baggage from your past. Clinging to anything from your former life keeps you from God’s best (See Jeremiah 29:11). Gregory suggests making a list of past pains and then burning the paper in a “ceremonial” fire.
Second, close that chapter on your life. Like a book we’ve just finished, it’s time to turn the page on a new one (See Isaiah 43:18 above). Remember, that was then, this is now.
Third, quit talking about your past. That’s difficult when you’re still clinging to heavy baggage (See Proverbs 18:21).
Fourth, let go of the shame, another difficult step for some of us. However, we all make mistakes. Consciously or unconsciously, we hurt others as well as ourselves in the process. “Thankfully,” says Gregory, “we have Jesus!” (See 1 John 1:9).
Fifth, enjoy today. We can’t change the past. No one can. However, we can be grateful for each new day we are given (See Psalm 118:24).
Sixth, walk by faith and not by sight. How can you do that? Focus on God’s Word instead of your circumstances. If you don’t already read and study the Bible every day, begin now (See Joshua 1:8).
Seventh, believe and understand the power of forgiveness. Refusing to forgive someone doesn’t hurt the other person. It only hurts you (See Matthew 6:14-15).
It’s a new year. Just let it go.
Photo captions: 1) A scene from Frozen. 2) Carol Round.
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