Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How to not let your past overgrow your future

Hello again! Let's continue on from where we left off yesterday in A Good Bible Study: StressLess.

Heavenly Father, thank you for leading us to spend this time together sharing Your Word and seeking Your Wisdom. Help us to be wise in making friends and in being a friend. We know You want the best for us and from us, so we ask You to give us everything we need today to feel relaxed and willing to live life in the way You planned for each of us: stress-less when at all possible. In the name of Jesus, amen.

We talked yesterday about letting go of people and activities that drag us down. We've all got some "friends" that just drain our energy and enthusiasm for life. Often it's our own family members that are so mired in their own past, they can't allow us a future. It's alright to let go.

Read Titus 3:9-10
We don't have to be mean about it. We don't have to shun all family affairs and stick our noses in the air.

I always tell my kids if you think what you are doing is the right thing, the honorable thing, then you don't have to do it in the dark, or hide it, or avoid talking about it. It's alright to just say it with love.

Read Matthew 7:1-5 We are not going to focus on what others are doing wrong, so much as what you want to do right and good in your own life. We can let others know what we need and they can either contribute, or they can't or won't, and that is alright because that's all they have to give and we've got to press on. It's not about an ultimatum. It's about choosing good input and letting go of negative influences.

Read 1 Corinthians 2:14

That's what you are doing when you open a dialog and let people know you are ready for a change in your relationship. You are giving them the opportunity to grow with you, or find someone they feel more comfortable hanging around. Now, give them a shot, it might take a while for them to stop squirming and accept this is for real. Some will do just that. Some won't. Move on.

There are just some folks who aren't ready to rise up. They would just rather wallow in misery and if you free them up they can find like minded people and leave you alone. You might not have to say anything at all because negative people don't stay around people who smile and change the subject when gossiping and complaining are all that's served. You're just not much fun to them anymore and they might even let you know it.

You've got to decide if you are living to please your critics, or to please your Lord.

Read John 10:10, Romans 12:2 and Colossians 3:23-25

Do you know what a critic is? I don't know who said this (and if you do let me know) but I love this quote: "A critic is a person who goes into the battlefield after the fight is over and shoots the survivors."

These people want to pull you back every time you try to raise yourself up out of your mess. They can't wait to remind you of who you've been and what you've done and all the mistakes you've made.

These are the people who want to tell you you're not ready for something good, that your gifts are of no value, that your purpose is not valid, and your choices in life: career, marriage, or even the color of your hair are wrong.

Now, I can't do one thing about those people except pray for them. I can't get them out of the family. I can't make them quit the job I have to work at with them. I can't get them to stop teaching at my school, or dating my friends, or driving the bus I take every day.

I can only limit my exposure to them and take every chance I have to fill my self up with good stuff so they just don't have a hold on my emotions so much anymore.

As part of The Compassionate Friends, a support group for families who have lost a child, I met a lady who shared with me something her son wrote before he died. I want to share it with you because I thought it was incredibly insightful, especially coming from a young man who passed away about a year after he wrote it. His name was Jeffrey Sanderson and he said, "Don't let your past overgrow you future."

Mark Twain said it like this, "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always try to do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

So keep your mind off your obstacles and away from people who can't see your vision, and focus on your reward.

Henry Ford said, "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal."

We've talked about recuperating our bodies, and now, our minds. Tomorrow we will talk about recuperating your spirit. I'll meet you here, in A Good Bible Study.

Dear Father, once again you show us in Your Word that the plans You have for us are good, to help us, and to lead us into a peaceful life. Help us be wise in choosing new friends, as we gently release those who aren't ready for the blessing You have for us now. In Jesus' name, amen.

Love, Karen

Photo by Dan, courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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