The Ghosts of the Past

Highlights from Sunday, 12.6.09 message...

The Ghosts of the Past fall into these 3 categories: The Ghost of Past Mistakes The Ghost of Past Hurts The Ghost of Past Catastrophes

"Out of our greatest pain can come our greatest passion for doing good."

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

1) Identify the Ghosts of the Past ~ Ask yourself questions to determine who the ghosts are? What do I regret? Who hurt me and how? What happen that I can not make sense of?

2) Accept It! ~ The past is part of your story – part of your life! ~ If you caused it - own it ~ If you can make restitution for it – do it ~ If not, confess it, claim God's promise and move on - 1 John 1:9 ~ If you did not cause it but someone else did – Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed by it Don’t take the blame for someone else’s wrong doing Make a conscious decision to not give the offending person or people control over the rest of your life.

3) Learn to Forgive ~ First – this is not about forgetting ~ Second - this is not about letting people off the hook ~ What it is about - your personal well being! ~ Even though it may not make sense – it works! ~ When you forgive - whether it be yourself or others - 2 things happen:

1) You are releasing yourself to be free from the control of the past hurts and mistakes - you are deciding that they will no longer control your emotions, your feelings, your actions in a negative way.

2) You are taking control of your life – you are deciding to leverage the past for good and stop the bad that continues to come from it.

We can not make the past go away but we can learn from it, grow from it, and leverage it for good. The reward of dealing with the past is to be able to live a healthy, functional, meaningful life!

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