Do you remember the movie Back to the Future? It’s a story about a teenage boy and a doctor who invents a time machine. It seemed like a harmless adventure so the Doc could study history. The problem was once they went into the past they kept screwing up the present and the future in a real bad way. It took some time, but eventually they realized the best thing they could do was destroy the time machine, but that became an adventure in itself. One of my favorite parts of the movie is the transition from the first movie to the second one. The Doc has finally sent Marty back to the future and he is dancing and celebrating in the streets. Unbeknown to him, Marty has just come back from the future because they needed to fix everything they messed up and when the Doc sees him seconds after just sending him back, he passes out.
Don’t Live Looking Through the Rearview Mirror
In a lot of ways our lives can play out in a very similar fashion to this movie. Life brings with it challenges and unfavorable circumstances. Sometimes we find ourselves on the wrong side of an issue. Someone hurts us, a company treats us unfairly or maybe someone aims to harm us. Without realizing it, we begin living through the rearview mirror. The rearview mirror is focused on the past. What could have been, what should have happened or where I would be if only…
Seventy Sevens, Oh My!
One of the most difficult things to do is forgive someone who has wronged you. Peter once asked Jesus how many times must I forgive someone, seven times? Jesus said no seventy times seven. The disciples were astonished by the answer, I’m sure their mouths were wide open in unbelief how it could be done. The point Jesus was trying to make is that when we can’t forgive ourselves or others we step back in time prior to what he did on the cross. Jesus made it clear there were only two things that would not be forgiven. The first we’ll save for another time, but the second is when we refuse to forgive others.
Unforgiveness Has No Power in the Present, Only the Past
What Jesus was trying to help them see is when we fail to forgive, we have to live in the past and no matter what we try to do it screws up our present and our future and like Marty and the Doc it becomes a mess. Remember Biff? He got to make all the rules in Hilldales new world that was created by their mess. This is what happens when we choose to live in the past. Since the atonement paid for all of our sins the only place where unforgiveness has power is outside of the cross and therefore we would have no access to grace. In addition to this, we would join with Satan acting as an accuser against the one that we have an issue with. In essence, when we don’t forgive, we join the dark side and we disavow our access to God’s forgiveness. Wow!
Choose to Live Forward
Our destiny is in the present and future! That’s where Jesus wants you to live. Your past is dead, you have been made new in Christ. He has forgotten every thing you have done wrong in the past and His power to perfect you will continue to carry you forward. You cannot look in the past and live in the future, nor can you hold others in the past without it taking you there with them. Sometimes we are holding ourselves in the past refusing to forgive ourselves. Whatever the circumstance, He whom the son has freed is free! Whatever it is that has held you back, whoever it is that changes your demeanor when they step into a room and whenever you remember that situation you can now choose a different response, you can choose to live in the present. It will no longer have any power over you, say goodbye to unforgiveness and step into who God has created you to be because your destiny is back in the future!