August 31, 2021•500 words
Coffee & Christian Worldview
A popular teaching: "It's the devil who makes you keep looking back to and dwelling on your past."
But in the Old Testament, you see God often reminding his people of their past.
12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
13 Brothers, I do not consider myself as having laid hold of it yet, but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Many people are not counseled well with God's Word, so false gets mixed with true.
It's always good to remind people what God has done for them.
If the "forget your past" was the true understanding, then Paul would have contradicted himself in his own letters! Philippians 3:4–6
You don't ignore the past. But you don't live there either.
"If I bring it up it will jinx me, or be bad luck."
It's therapeutic thinking, not Christian thinking.
Be thankful for what God has done for us.
Also a misunderstanding of figurative language: God "forgets" our sins. Does it mean he lost knowledge? No.
Throughout the OT, God reminds his people of his mighty acts in their past. And he will also remind them of their sins, their discipline, and his deliverance of them.
And God commands his people to teach this history to their children! "You must not forget!"
Examples: Ebenezer, Passover, Feast of Tabernacles, etc.
This is one way the Christian faith has been "psychologized."
Many pastors are anti-theology, so the people don't get the teaching they need.
You can't be dismissive of all mental issues, like "it's all in your head." The brain is an organ, and God made us physical.
How do we counsel someone who doesn't understand/realize that this is a physical brain issue? Because they are afraid of the mental health profession.
They don't have pastors with discernment.
For a heart problem, you would go to a heart doctor. Why not for the brain?
Ask your network of people, thinking that someone may have a brain-issue, are there any Christian specialists?
We're distinguishing this from dealing with your past.
We're not talking about ignoring, just not dwelling.
But if it's a physical organ problem, be honest about your situation.
You cannot separate the two, because you are a union of body and soul.
Many know this intuitively. Everyone needs to distinguish and recognize both/and. Your physical condition affects your emotional and spiritual state.
Learn to appropriately think about your past.
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Written by Bryan Teoh