By Jim DeAngelo
When I think about a future event and go beyond planning, I tend to worry about what might happen. When I think about the past, I tend to focus on how I messed up and could have done it better. This leads me to feelings of condemnation or shame.
What does God say about these conditions? In Matthew 6:34 Jesus said, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” With anxiety comes fear, which is the opposite of faith. Fear drives us towards despair as we wonder what might happen that will harm us. Fear is the belief we will be harmed. Faith, on the other hand, is belief in God’s promises and His deliverance and blessing in our life. Faith brings us closer to God. Keeping our minds focused on today and letting God have tomorrow is necessary to staying away from the worry about tomorrow. Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:7 that I have been given a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. When I find myself worrying, I know there is something I have not given over to Christ, and I exercise self-discipline.
On dwelling in the past, the enemy of our souls wants us to feel condemnation. Condemnation is a feeling of unworthiness, failure, defeat, disapproval, censure, or criticism. This is the opposite of what Christ says about us. Paul wrote in Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” and in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” When confronted with our feelings of failure and what God says about us, we decide what we want to believe. For a complete list of who we are in Christ, follow this link.
I have found that when I fear or feel like a failure, I have lost sight of who I am in Christ. I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 2:12, which says that I have received the Spirit of God into my life that I might know the things freely given to me by God. When I am thinking and living in the present, thinking about now, not preoccupied about the future, at peace and not anxious, I am at peace and truly enjoy what I am experiencing now.
So, once I hit the send button on my computer, to get this published, I won’t think about what I could have or should have written — I will simply be glad I am done!