Dredging Up the Past

Some Mental Health professionals have made a business out of digging up the past, re-opening old conflicts and tryng to help their clients achieve some sort of resolution of old hurts.  I have asked myself if this is helpful to Christian believers and determined in my own heart that it is not. 

If one’s past conflicts centered on a particular person, would it be helpful to re-open a dialog with that person?  Assuming the person were available and willing, what would likely happen?  First, old memories would be dredged up, some of which might have already been forgotten by one or other of the parties.  Second, its unlikely both parties remember the incidents or conflicts in the same way.  Each will color the memories with their own meaning, creating another difference of opinion and even possible further conflict.  Third, one or both parties may bring in new information which may cause more hurt.  Fourth, old negative thoughts and patterns of communication resurface and more are produced as self-justification ensues.  Fifth, old negative thoughts produce old negative emotions, until things are as bad as or worse than before.

As an alternative, for the Christian, why not just forgive?  Forgiveness, by its very nature means reconciliation without resolution.  If resolution occurs, what is left to forgive?  Forgiveness hands the situation to God, putting the justice and mercy into His hands, and taking it out of our own.  We so want to see an offender pay–yet God didn’t make us pay.  When we truly understand grace, and when great grace has been shown us, we find it easier to accept it when grace is shown to others.

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One Response to “Dredging Up the Past”

  1. Sharon Wilson Says:

    I love your post! I totally agree with you. I believe that forgiving ourselves and others can bring about success in our lives and businesses as well. We can explore the challenges and traumas we’ve endured and transform those stories into empowering vehicles for success instead of digging up the past. I also believe that if we want to increase our spiritual selling we need to first forgive ourselves for mistakes we made in the past.

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