How much time do you spend beating yourself up for things you wish you had done? Or things you wished you’d done differently? Or things you’d wished you’d never done? Or, or, or…
That guy you dated for WAY too long, the girl you dumped WAY too soon, a class you wanted to take, a movie you wanted to see maybe you zigged when you should have zagged? I bet you have your own that you’re already thinking about.
If you’re like me, you cannot even begin to count the wasted hours replaying each scenario over and over in your head trying to see if you can fix what you didn’t do right the first time – as if.
Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George comes up with the snappy comeback about the “Jerk Store” and spends the rest of the episode trying to get the guy to insult him again –now there’s another post for ya, “How Often Do We Look for Ways to get People to Think Less of Us?”
OK, I‘ll work on that one later for now back to the “Jerk Store” (I love that show by the way).
I guess the real question is, does any of it really matter?
The answer simply put is, no. Not unless you let it.
And that can be the big issue too, right? We let it be an issue and I think we do that because it is what we know, it’s like an old jacket – comfortable, a bit worn perhaps but when it’s cold outside it’s what we reach for.
It is our habit and that is why we cannot shake it because it is what we do.
So, what are we supposed to do with these old bad habits? Well, it would be great if we could just forget them or remove them but I don’t think we want to do that. Well, I KNOW we don’t WANT to do that.
In the 1989 film Star Trek V – The Final Frontier, Captain Kirk covers this very thing,
“You know that pain and guilt can’t be taken away with the wave of a magic wand. They’re things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. …If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don’t want my pain taken away. I need my pain.”
Can I just say, this was tremendously hard to find – how in the world did we get stuff done before the internets?
Kirk is right and wrong; we need our pain, our mistakes but only as a source of information and sometimes motivation.
We need the knowledge gained from our mistakes so we can make better decisions in the future and with any luck have less pain to show for it. That’s how he’s right.
Here’s how he’s wrong, God will take away all our pain, all our regret and the guilt of everything we have ever done and make us NEW – that’s what his word promises.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Cor. 5:17 – NIV).”
God can and will do all of that yet we retain the knowledge of our past and use it to grow.
This really spoke to me today. I beat myself up all the time and I know I need to quit doing that. If I indulge in it too long it can be depressing. I wouldn’t talk to anyone else like this so why do I say those negative things to myself? I loved how you wrote about this. thanks
Dale, Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. It can be hard and quite depressing when we allow ourselves to listen too closley – and believe – the negative voices. Thanks for the encouragment. Don’t be a stranger.
Perhaps it’s one of the benefits of getting older – I’ll be 60 this year – but it seems I’ve lost some of the energy it takes to dwell in the past. Sure, there are MANY things I regret in my past. But I find that guilt just weighs me down and paralyzes me. It’s one of the enemy’s best tools to make us totally ineffective. God uses pain to convict us, He uses forgiveness to free us. We would be selling Him short (and probably sinning) if we continue to hold on to something He promises to have forgotten.
So, like Paul, forgetting the past…I press on.
(And yes, I would expect nothing less than Seinfeld and Star Trek in a post from you. Well done. And now I’m picturing Mr. Spock in a puffy shirt…get the reference??)
BEST visual EVER – I even changed the picture for this post – HOPE YOU LIKE IT! It’s a bit old school but then so am I ! Enjoy.
OK, that is CLASSIC!!
This is so easy to hear and shake my head in agreement, so hard to do some days. Thanks for the reminder.
It is but God gives us the grace to do it – it’s up to us to accept it or not. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
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