Have you ever thought about that? I think dwelling on the past, especially past mistakes, can be an automatic, a default mechanism—at least for some of us. You can learn a lot about your thought tendencies and where they come from by reading “Personality Plus” by Florence Littauer. Link to book. (This is an affiliate link which means HSM makes money when you purchase the book from this link).
We all make mistakes; things we wish we could say or do over. Sometimes they’re small; sometimes they’re not so small. And our choices certainly have consequences—some short-term, some lifetime. But it’s how you choose to think about your choices and live life afterwards that matters. I’m talking about dwelling on the past versus learning from the past.
One of the things you may dwell on is people who hurt you. This can include parents, relatives, friends, teachers, spouse, or your baby daddy. Are you thinking about the hurt over and over and over again? Is it keeping you stuck?
One way to move forward is to forgive the person who hurt you. What?! You might be thinking that if you forgive someone, it relieves the person of their responsibility for their words or actions. That’s not true. That’s a lie Satan wants you to believe.
One way Satan does that is by planting lies in your mind. That’s right! Satan can get into your head and plant thoughts and make you think they’re your thoughts. He is the one who doesn’t want you to forgive. He wants to keep you depressed and your life in chaos.
Forgiveness is not about the other person. Forgiveness is for you. It is about what it does for you! Without forgiveness, your anger, your bitterness grow. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Chronic anger puts you into a fight-or-flight mode, which results in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure and immune response. Those changes, then, increase the risk of depression, heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions. Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health.”
To forgive someone is a choice you make. It is not reacting to your feelings or your sense of right or wrong. I will discuss the difference between reacting and responding in another article in the forgiveness series. This series will be taken from our Bible study, “Why? for single moms.” Read more about the study. Also, like and follow our Facebook page
Every day is a new day with a new beginning and new choices. Our past doesn’t have to define us, but it certainly has shaped who we are. Choose to forgive. Choose to be grateful. Not sure you have anything to be grateful for? Look for our next blog post in the series.