Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 4.15.15 – Dealing With the Past

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Sunday nights over the next several weeks at our church we are hosting “Overcoming the Pain of the Past”, a seminar taught by Rev. Bob Combs, a friend and mentor of mine in ministry.

I’m not entirely sure of the specific emphases he will give as the series unfolds, so I’m not going to comment on specifics. Tonight I merely seek to lay out a few basic principles regarding the past.

1. Many people have difficulties overcoming their past.

This is not to suggest that EVERYONE carries terrible wounds and burdens, but many do. Especially in church settings, remaining aware of this dynamic with long time believers and new attenders alike can prove beneficial and foster a safe environment.

2. If you know someone with difficult events in the past, start with compassion.

I realize that awkward situations give the average person a lot of difficulty. But someone brave enough to share their past should be met with a desire to understand, a willingness to pray, and an eagerness to listen.

In our first session, Pastor Bob reminded us that he’s not trying to make excuses for someone’s behavior. Instead, it’s helpful to give explanations. Seeking understanding and doing so with as much compassion as possible provides a foundation for individuals to make great gains in spiritual, mental, and emotional health.

3. The past CAN be overcome.

No, I’m not suggesting the possibility of forgetting the past exists. But health, functionality, and joy absolutely lie at the end of the path for those seeking Christ in the midst.

Difficult words like confrontation, repentance, admission, and forgiveness can’t be escaped. Instead, facing difficulties with courage, discipline, and rigor can make fertile ground for the growth God wants to bring about in our hearts and minds as we seek increased health for the future.

Think. If you have a difficult past, what key things hold you back? Is it hard for you to understand people with turbulence in their pasts?

Act. Pray. Support. Seek understanding. Trust God to heal and lean on Him more than anyone else whether you’re overcoming or supporting someone who is.

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