Last time I blogged about looking at life in the rear view mirror. There is a reason the windshield is bigger than the rear view mirror in your car; the rear view mirror is small and shows you only where you have been, and the windshield is large and shows you where you are headed.
Attempting to drive down the highway while looking only in the rear view mirror would bring tragic results to you and those you share the road with. Yet, many women live looking in the rear view mirror of their lives. They are fixated on the events and hurt of the past and have become captive of their own thought life. This brings so much sorrow and distress into the present that for the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of the woman resolve must be reached.
Reconciling the hurt, anger, and betrayal needs to be done at the heart level in order to truly move forward. No matter what has happened in the past it is in the past and there is nothing that can be done to change that. No amount of backward glances, “what if” thinking, hoping, or wishing will undo what has been done. It is best to accept what has happened as being a part of the tapestry of life; an intentional and purposeful part of life.
That may sound cold and cruel and it is not intended to, however I want you to understand that God is always sovereign over the events of our lives. It does not mean God approved or sanctioned sin. It does mean that He intends to use the past for our good and His glory. As a person begins to accept the hurt and come to the place where by the power of the Holy Spirit they are able to forgive the offender a sense of freedom begins to develop within. This also doesn’t mean the hurt person offers forgiveness to the one who is unrepentant or has not asked to be forgiven, but rather the hurting heart turns over to God the responsibility for recompense.
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21 (NASB)
What this means in daily life is forgiveness is lived out via demonstrating love to the person who hurt them. This is what Christ did, and with Him as our example and the Spirit of God indwelling us, it is not only possible but expected that God’s abundant grace will pour over them and enable them to return good for evil.
Philippians 4:8-9 must become the normative thinking for the person who has been deeply hurt and no longer desires to live life looking in the rear view mirror.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
She must choose and determine to look at what is taking place in the present in the relationship in question. If the person who has hurt her is repentant and is no longer living a sinful life, then that is where her focus needs to be! What is “true” is that repentance has taken place, the person has returned to an “honorable” state before God! Their heart has been broken over their sin and having confessed their sin to God and you, is now “right” before you.
These are the things that bring peace into the heart of a person who has been deeply hurt because of someone else’s sinful actions. This is what living life looking forward at the whole wonderful life ahead of you means and not backward in the small rear view mirror of painful past actions.