“When people walk away from you, let them go. Your destiny is never tied to anyone who leaves you, and it doesn’t mean they are bad people. It just means that their part in your story is over.” – T.D. Jakes
We are not going to talk about people…hahaha, we are going to talk on the cost of looking back. There are benefits of looking back and there are costs of looking back in life. I shared this before that the only time you want to look back in your life is to see how far you have come in your life, and not to go back there and stay there.
God created our feet and eyes for example, to always face front and be forward looking. That should be a hint for us that we should always concentrate on moving forward and ahead. It’s not healthy to be stuck in our pasts or one place in our lives. Just like when we go somewhere we have to keep moving and keep going, so as in our lives, we need to keep on moving forward to the next level.
The Bible has examples that show us the benefits and costs of looking back.
We can learn one example from the book of Matthew chapter 16 verses 5 to 12. It records that “Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread. “Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. Jesus knew what they were saying, so He said, “You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread? Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up? Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’” Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
The Lord Jesus told them don’t you remember the five and seven loaves miracles that I did? So the only time you need to look back is to see and remember your past victories. When you are down and discouraged the best thing you can do is to remember your past victories in your life. Look back how God has brought you this far, and if He has brought you this far, He is not going to give up on you now. You can look back to recall your past victories, but also recall the lessons you have learned both from your mistakes and success so that you can apply them in your today. That is the benefit of looking back which is to see how far you have come.
There is this famous story in the Bible about Lot’s wife. The Bible records in the book of Genesis chapter 19 verses 14 to 26 that “So Lot rushed out to tell his daughters’ fiancés, “Quick, get out of the city! The Lord is about to destroy it.” But the young men thought he was only joking. At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. “Hurry,” they said to Lot. “Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out right now, or you will be swept away in the destruction of the city!” When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful. When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!” “Oh no, my lord!” Lot begged. “You have been so gracious to me and saved my life, and you have shown such great kindness. But I cannot go to the mountains. Disaster would catch up to me there, and I would soon die. See, there is a small village nearby. Please let me go there instead; don’t you see how small it is? Then my life will be saved.” “All right,” the angel said, “I will grant your request. I will not destroy the little village. But hurry! Escape to it, for I can do nothing until you arrive there.” (This explains why that village was known as Zoar, which means “little place.”) Lot reached the village just as the sun was rising over the horizon. Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation. But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.
It’s a sad story, but there is something to learn from Lot’s wife. And the lesson is that Lot’s wife looked back on what God was trying to destroy and wanted her to let go in her life, and therefore she turned into a pillar of salt. She probably didn’t want to leave the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. She loved her old life there, but God wanted her to leave that kind of life and place, and she didn’t want to obey God’s warning, she wanted to go back, therefore she got destroyed in the end.
Sometimes there are consequences on looking back. For example; if you know you have been saved from drug addiction, then don’t look back, because if you look back to it, guess what? The same thing with prostitution; if you know The Lord has delivered you from that kind of lifestyle, don’t go back and do it again. Do not go back to the way it used to be before His presence came to change you.
In fact there is an example in the book of John chapter 5 verses 1 to 15, and it says, “After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’” Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Jesus warned him not to go back, lest a worse thing come upon him; worse than he had before, isn’t that frightening? Another translation says Jesus said to him, “You’re well now. Stop sinning so that something worse doesn’t happen to you.”
Do you know that song that says, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.” Our motto should be “Forward ever, no backsliding. By the grace of God, forward ever and no turning back.” Not just in our past failures, mistakes, and grieves, but even in our successes and strengths. We need to let go the things of the past. We need to let go of old way of living that God maybe helping us to let go. We need to let go of anything that we know will not serve us now and in our future, where we are heading, or we want to go. If you know it worked in your past and it may not be able to work in your future, then let it go.
We were created to be forward looking and making progress. We are meant to evolve, but not to stop. When we make initiatives to improve in all areas and aspects of our lives, we are actually concentrating on facing front always. Therefore, do not look back you will miss what is in front of you. Do not look back with regret, look forward with hope. And as long as we have God we have hope.
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