Putting the Past to Rest

The following words are part of a wise counsel that a veteran Christian gave to a younger, who was apprehensive in a moment of troubled religious transition:

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Patience is essential during a time of transition. There is no experience that cannot bring some benefit, if we're willing to work to that end. Some of those experiences we characterize as negative and unpleasant can often teach more than those we view as pleasurable. At the same time that does not excuse from responsibility those who contributed to our making decisions that we would probably not have made had we not been misinformed.

… Life inevitably has its negative aspects, but we can deal with these as they require and then put them behind us. The past may be beyond our changing, but the present and the future are things we can work with, focus on. If we let resentment or bitterness control us then we are, as one scholar put it, "prisoners of the past." When we find the power to put the past to rest, we set a prisoner free. To do otherwise is to live with frustration and reminds one of Paul's statement about "beating the air." (1 Corinthians 9:26) There is a great source of happiness and peace in putting our focus on positive matters. As the apostle puts it:

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy or praise, think about these things.” – Phillipians 4:8.