Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When Your Past Won't Stay There

Words for Wednesdays

My blog is called "Reaching Ahead" from the passage in Philippians 3:12-14 where we forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead. But what if our past won't stay, well... past? What if it affects our present, and as a result, our future?

Putting Your Past in Its Place by Stephen Viars is a Biblical guide to our pasts. He helps us look at them through the lens of scripture. I appreciate his gentle yet firm approach, as well as the systematic way he moves through the book.

His goal isn't to dive into our past to blame others, find our inner child, or anything like that. Instead, he breaks it into four categories, and then he teaches us how to correctly handle each, giving examples from the Bible of people who've been there as well as case studies.

1. When you've been through trials and responded well. (Joseph)
2. When you've been through trials and responded poorly. (Naomi)
3. When you've sinned and responded well. (Peter)
4. When you've sinned and responded poorly. (David)

As one counselee I met with said when she reported on the book:

"I would highly recommend this book to any Christian who is struggling with issues of the past. No matter what the issues, this book (especially with its use of biblical reference) can help steer anyone in the right direction; down a pathway straight to God. It all points back to the Lord who is our ultimate healer and adviser."

I think that just about sums it up!

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14

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