Avoiding the Rearview Mirror

by Rick Warren

Put your heart right, Job. Reach out to God …. Then face the world again, firm and courageous. Then all your troubles will fade from your memory, like floods that are past and remembered no more.”
Job 11:13, 15-16 (GNT)

You can learn a lot by looking at your past. You’ve heard the saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” That’s true — but it’s only part of the story. You can’t heal the most pervasive, costly wounds in your life by focusing only on your past. To defeat those giants, you’ll have to look ahead.

Too often we try to find healing by looking in our rearview mirrors. When we do that, we’re more likely to crash than heal.

In Job 11, God tells us clearly how to get rid of painful memories and move on with our lives. He says, “Put your heart right, Job. Reach out to God …. Then face the world again, firm and courageous. Then all your troubles will fade from your memory, like floods that are past and remembered no more” (Job 11:13, 15-16 GNT).

First, put your heart right. You do what’s right — no matter what the other person does. It’s always right to forgive those who’ve hurt you.

Second, reach out to God. Invite Jesus into every room in the house of your heart. Often, we’ve invited him into the front room (accepted Jesus as our Savior) — but not the bedroom, kitchen, or garage.

Third, face the world again. Don’t hide in a shell or withdraw so you don’t get hurt again. Move forward. Learn to live again.

Your past is not your future. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, who you’ve done it with, or how long you’ve done it. Throughout Scripture, God forgives murderers, adulterers, and slackers, and he uses them to do his work in the world.

You, too, have a great future ahead of you. Put your heart right, reach out to God, and face the world again.

And then let God do something incredible through you.

Think about it:
•    Why is it so easy to look at our past when trying to overcome pain?
•    Who do you need to forgive in order to “put your heart right”?
•    As you reach out to God for healing, into what rooms do you still need to invite Jesus?

In what ways do you “hide in a shell” as you deal with hurt in your life?

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4 Responses to Avoiding the Rearview Mirror

  1. AmyC says:

    Like babies, if they didn’t experience the pain of fall they will never stand up to walk. We too, if we didn’t experience the trials in life we will never grow. Praise The Lord, we have The God of the universe to guide us, and His Mighty hands will hold on to us if we suffered a fall. Our God wants us to hold our head high up to face any problems we face, He is always there with us, to comfort us. Amen

  2. JC says:

    Job 11:13, 15 & 16 were spoken by one of Job’s “comforters” and not affirmed by God as His truth. However, I believe other verses in Scripture back up the three main principles in the devotional. Inviting God into all of our lives, including our painful memories can help free us to live more fully in the present and the future.

  3. Stephen Bernard says:

    My past does not hurt me. Because, God does not allow me to dwell on it. He blessed me so much, healed me from my afflictions and keeps me and my family in His peace and happiness, preserved in His promise of eternal life.
    Thank you, God bless you and keep you.

  4. Jo Melis says:

    Thank you very much, yes food for thought not only that but ACTION…… Invite Jesus not only in the front room BUT ALL ROOMS – garage as well! Need some cleaning to do……not only the front room (show) but every where……..
    And don’t look in the back mirror – heading for a crash.
    Forgiveness oh boy takes me time – a lot of prayers (from the mouth it moves to the heart), then slips back to the mouth again. Keep going God will show you how the other person suffers and needs YOUR help. PRAY, PRAY and PRAY.

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us- God bless you all

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