The familiar saying “if I knew then what I know now” is not new. For generations, people have looked back on their life and thought about decisions they would have made differently if they had the knowledge they have now. The song “Younger Me” by Mercy Me speaks to our human desire for these kinds of hindsight corrections in our life.
Learning from past decisions is a part of our development as humans and as Christians. So, we must remember the past, but not fixate on it. While we sometimes wish we could go back and change a decision, we obviously can’t do that. We would never be able to look forward if we were always going back to change previous decisions. Scripture tells us to forget what is behind and press on toward what is ahead (Philippians 3:13-14).
As we look back, we learn the lessons to apply in the future. No matter what decisions we made in life, good or bad, the ultimate message is that our heartache, our pain, our mistakes, our sufferings at the hands of other people and their bad choices, ALL of it – we were not meant to carry it around – we were meant to lay it at the cross. In our human state, we may lay it at the cross numerous times, but every time we lay it down we look forward to the future and press on toward the goal.
Part of pressing forward is seeing who we are in Christ. Our value, our worth is not in the decisions we have made in life. Our value and worth is found in Jesus Christ and what He has done for us. Through Jesus, we are holy, righteous, redeemed, new, and free! What if instead of looking back and saying, “I would change…”, “I wish I had not…”, “Why did that happen to me?”, etc., we look back and say to ourselves the words of this song:
“Dear younger me
It’s not your fault
You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross
Dear younger me
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed”
What freedom we would find as we lay the burdens of the past at the cross and live in the glory and peace that Christ gives us. How different would we view who we are if we see ourselves through Christ! How different we would feel about life when our value is not based on this world, but based on Christ! Our value is found in Him! We are God’s creation, fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)!
Our prayer for you is to find your value in Christ and the freedom that comes with giving your burdens to Him!
By Beth Kitzmiller, PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMFT
Director, Covenant Counseling Center