Time to let go?
I have been reading Damon Zahariades’s book The Art of Letting Go.
How to let go of the past, look forward to the future and finally enjoy the emotional freedom you deserve.
His thesis is that we all carry negative thoughts and emotions caused by life’s experiences, situations, actions, regrets, and failures. He makes the point that carrying these instead of letting them go, affects our mental and physical health. Not only that but they affect our relationships. They affect the way we lead as ministers of the Gospel.
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he instructs Christians to let go of those destructive things in our lives.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice’ Let go of these things and instead replace them with what he mentions in the next verse “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another and God in Christ forgave you” Ephesians 4 v 31-32
However, for Zahariades ‘letting go’ is not something that comes easy to any of us.
“The power of letting go of the negative emotions, painful memories, frustrations, and regrets that burden us, will bring us into a better place physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually “
We mess up. Sometimes we make mistakes. We do things we wished we hadn’t. Sometimes, we hurt those we love in the process. We never want to live in the past—burdened by the mistakes we’ve made—but it’s safe to say that all of us have done things that didn’t make us the people God wants us to be.
There’s a difference between regret and repentance, and it can be best seen when comparing St. Peter to Judas. Both men sinned gravely against the Lord: Peter denying him during the time of his Passion and Judas delivered him to crucifixion.
The difference is, where Peter regretted his sins and repented, Judas let his sin consume him.
It’s okay to regret the things we’ve done in the past, but we can’t dwell in this regret. Yes, it is good that we regret those poor decisions and actions that caused us and others pain. However, we must do something about it. We must repent.
When we repent, we surrender ourselves and our mistakes to the Lord, and then he can use those mistakes. “All things work together for good “Romans 8 v 28
God can use everything—even our worst sins—for our path towards eternity. Nothing given to God is ever wasted.
Regret is good in that it acts as a warning to beware not to make the same mistakes again. Repentance is where we not only express our regret but decide to turn- we let go of regret and live the new life.
Father, sometimes I can’t understand how you can bring beauty from the ashes of my life. I struggle to trust you with the broken pieces. You say in your Word that without faith it is impossible to please you, and I want to please you. I want to trust you. I want you to make me more like Jesus and use my trials for my good and your glory. Help me believe the promise of Romans 8:28. In the strong name of Jesus, I ask. Amen.