God Doesn't Keep Score
Let me tell you something that you probably already know:
It's hard to let go of the past.
Listen, I get that some of you out there might have done a bunch of work on this very thing in your own life, and you have been able to let a bunch of things from your past go, and move forward.
But what I know about you (because this is universally true for all of us) is that no matter how hard you try to qualify yourself as the kind of person who easily lets go of some aspects of the past, and moves on without a bit of a struggle...
There are some things that hang around longer than you'd like.
Maybe you don't admit it to anyone else, but there's something that has happened to you, something someone said or did, a mistake you've made, or a wrong turn that you took at one point in your life, and it is hard to shake the memory of it.
It could be that you've been hanging on to hurts that were inflicted upon you by a loved one, and you've said that you've forgiven and forged ahead, but secretly you have carried it with you, and it won't go away.
Perhaps the person you have been beating up all along for the thing in your past is yourself. You may have moved on from the hurts that others have done to you, but you can't find it in your heart to give yourself a break.
I know this feeling, and I struggle with it just as much as anyone, and probably a bit more for good measure. And even when I think I've finally moved on and let it all go, something happens to bring it to mind, and the feelings come rushing back in like an unexpected flash flood.
Which means I haven't really let it go.
I recently read this awesome quote from author Bob Goff, who wrote:
[God] knew we would get it wrong before [God] came to be with us, but [God] came anyway because that's what love does. Love forgives and then looks ahead. Love leaves old failures in the past. God doesn't keep score, and we don't need to either.
God doesn't keep score.
That is a truism that far too many of us fail to internalize. I know it is for me. I grew up with an image of a god who most definitely kept score, and was all about reminding you when you were falling behind.
And if you didn't get the message from that god, one of that god's messengers would make sure you did, even if they had to rub your face in it to get the point across.
Also, there have been times in my life when I've been that person for other people, and I've had to repent of it and keep repenting when I fall back into those old habits.
I've also been that person for myself---you probably have, too.
But God doesn't keep score. All of those old failures and traumas are in your past. You can leave them far behind. Don't even use the rearview mirror, because it can deceive you into thinking the past is closer than you think.
Instead, you need to hear this fantastic anonymous quote that I've had sitting on my desktop for several weeks now:
"Don't look back, you're not going that way."
May you find the courage and the strength to forgive your past self, to let go of past hurts, to move forward into the newness of life that awaits you---a new life filled with abundance and joy, the kind of life Jesus longs for you to live.
You should know that things might change for you as you figure this out. Relationships will change... your attitude... the way you look at the world... even your faith and beliefs might get an overhaul.
Don't be scared. You got this. Step forward and hang on to hope.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.