As many says, the best predictor of our future is our past. Because we are creatures of habit, and we tend to continue what we have been doing. Also, every decision has a consequence we cannot undo. So it is easy to believe that our past determines our future, not just predict.
However, we can change our past. I’m not saying we can alter “what” happened in the past. But we can alter “how” we view it today. Though the content of our past can’t change, its meaning and sting can, depending on how we decide to view it. That’s when we stop allowing our past to define us and project a new and better future.
God can redeem our past. But it doesn’t happen by erasing our past but changing our “experience” with the past. For example, Apostle Peter denied Jesus three times. But after the resurrection, Jesus revisited Peter in his shame and asked three but different questions, ending all with a commission to lead his church. His past failures remained, but his experience with it became a moment of forgiveness and brand new mission.
How we view our past speaks more about who we are today than what happened in the past. Some people won’t move on from their past failures, hurt and rough upbringing. It is not to discount the pain nor the real-life implications of those events. However, becoming a new person is not having a new past, but a new view of it.
Apostle Paul said we are a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). But many Christians still view themselves as “old creation,” struggling to improve. It is because they are still defining their current identity with their past. No wonder there is a lack of joy in their faith. Becoming a new creation is not enough. Viewing ourselves as a new creation despite our shameful past and living like it gives us joy in the present and places new meaning to our past.
God changes us “now,” so we can begin to view our past not from bitterness and self-pity but gratitude and hope. So instead of asking for “new landscapes,” ask God for “new eyes.” As someone said, it is not about seeing a million things but seeing the same things a million different ways.