Facing Backward to Go Forward
"But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."1
I have read that if flies are placed in a jar with air holes in the lid, they will fly frantically, banging into the lid, desperately trying to escape from their prison. If left there long enough, eventually they will stop hitting the lid. Later, if the lid is removed, they won't even try to escape.
Some of us are like the flies. Because of a traumatic or painful experience in our past, we have been "conditioned" to believe that we are trapped in a prison of helplessness without escape, so we are afraid to try again for fear of failure or of being hurt again.
To overcome, we need to acknowledge where we have been hurt and, if necessary, get into a recovery program to overcome our painful memories and unresolved feelings.
As Peter said, "So get rid of your feelings of hatred."2 The same principle applies to all negative feelings—especially the supercharged repressed negative emotions. Repressing or denying these feelings doesn't get rid of them. It only adds "interest" to them and makes matters worse. Furthermore, we can never truly "get rid of" a negative painful past until we have resolved it. Only then are we truly able to forgive any and all who have ever hurt us. Until we do this, we are still bound to and controlled by our past.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to resolve any hurts from the past that are affecting my life in any negative way. And, if necessary, find the help needed to do this, so that I can forgive any and all who have ever hurt me, and in so doing put all these matters behind me, and be free to fully live and fully love and to better serve you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV).
2. I Peter 2:1 (TLB)(NLT).