All of us have experienced some form of hurt or difficulty in our lives, but how do we begin to confront it and move forward? The truth is, it can be challenging and scary to start making peace with your past. Sometimes, it may even feel like it would just be easier to run from your past instead of facing it.
While making peace with your past isn’t always easy, it’s important. It involves not only forgiving those around you who have hurt you but also being willing to forgive yourself for your past mistakes. Too often, it can be so much easier to forgive others than to forgive yourself.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re starting the process of making peace with your past.
You’re not alone.
All of us have made many mistakes in our lives. All of us have been hurt by other people before. Whatever you’ve experienced in your past, take heart in knowing that you’re not the only one who’s gone through it before.
We’re all imperfect humans. Every single one of us is broken, and every single one of us needs a Savior. None of us will ever be able to live up to God’s standard of perfection for our lives, but that doesn’t mean He loves us any less.
Psalm 34:18 (ESV) says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Whatever’s in your past that you’re trying to make peace with, God will be there for you and provide you with peace if you ask Him to.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV) says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Shame, guilt and sorrow do not come from God.
One of the first steps to making peace with your past is recognizing that God brings peace, not shame, guilt or sorrow. Regardless of the mistakes that we’ve made, we can find redemption and love in Christ.
Isaiah 54:4 (ESV) says, “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.”
Too often, we are quick to forgive others and give others grace but not ourselves. Being willing to put aside feelings of shame, guilt and sorrow is an important step to making peace with your past.
We will never be perfect.
While it may seem simple to read, we make the vastly wrong assumption that we can be perfect too often. The truth is, none of us will ever be perfect. None of us will ever be able to live up to that standard.
We aren’t saved by how good or perfect we are. We are saved purely by how faithful we are to God.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
If God judged us based on perfection, none of us would make it into heaven. However, even though none of us are perfect, we can still do our best to be the best versions of ourselves possible. Beginning to make peace with your past is an important step to becoming the best version of yourself.
True peace is found in God.
If you’re looking to make peace with your past, one of the most important steps is knowing where to find peace. God is our Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and we can’t find real, true peace apart from Him.
Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV) says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
While you may be struggling to find peace and forgiveness for yourself, know that God has already forgiven you for your past, and He is ready to give you His peace.
Isaiah 26:12 (ESV) says, “O Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works.”