Looking Back: Is It Biblical?
People often ask me if it is essential or even Biblical to look to our past in order to grow. I often hear, "Why do I need to look back to the effects of my childhood?" The Bible says, "One who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for service in the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62). The "looking back" in this verse refers to the disciples not going back to their families. It meant that His followers were to be radical, not to look back to other obligations, much the same as He called His disciples not to go back to fishing. There is a "looking back" that is very Biblical: we look back to learn. In 1 Corinthians 10:6 Paul tells us that we need to look back to learn what not to do. The entire Bible is preserved so we can look back to learn - history is important!
There are three biblical principles that we can glean from looking back: Forgiveness, Healing and Growth. The Bible warns us not to let any root of bitterness grow in us (Hebrews 12:14). As we look to our past we can forgive from our hearts any of the painful experiences we remember. We can confess our reactions to these hurts if appropriate, and receive healing from the experience. We can grow by setting a plan to change the behaviors that were modeled to us.
Proverbs 22:24 says, "Don't associate with a man given to anger, lest you become like him." This implies that we tend to catch what we are exposed to. If in your formative years you were exposed to some unhealthy behaviors, you most likely have picked them up yourself. Finding these in your past can be the first step in beginning the process of change.
Looking back is God's way of reminding us that we must not be like the Israelites in the wilderness. Looking back can be God's way of bringing spiritual growth to your life.
A WORD OF CAUTION: We look back to forgive, to confess and to grow, to take personal responsibility. We do not look back to blame, to attack, to excuse ourselves for our root of bitterness nor to justify our current behaviors.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF SINGLENESS
Singleness has its down sides as well as its blessings, but so often the blessings are missed. Many single people focus much of their time on what they are missing rather than actively pursuing their ministry opportunities- It is a normal temptation for a single person to look with envy to their married friends. It is a graver temptation to believe that somehow God is blessing the married person and not them. To fall to such temptation can mark the beginning of a bitter spirit. The temptation is successful if it can turn to wasted time, a depressive mood, and eventually a slight rebellion toward God. It has achieved its purpose by zapping power, eroding confidence and hindering fruitfulness. Instead of growing in usefulness and character, the result is shrinking into self-pity, comparison, separation and idleness. Recognize the temptation, instead of retreating - move forward, find your spiritual passion, get involved in ministries that build the Kingdom of God. Do things that you might never again in your life be in a position to do. Do not buy the lie that God is not blessing you because you have not yet found your mate. Above all don't give up hope, stay committed to the church, stay in communion with fellow believers. There is no such thing as a single Christian we are married to Christ, and the church is our family.
(2 Corinthians 11:2) (Ephesians 4:16)
Donations to Spiritual Growth Ministries are tax-deductible.
Donations go to support and assist those who cannot afford counseling, and a benevolence fund was created to help those in financial need. Last year we were able to counsel several families and helped to support those who were in need. Thank you so much for your generosity.
Roqer Tirabassi, President, Spiritual Growth Ministries