The need to “Get over it” in order to move on.
If there’s one factor, more than any other, that can hold you back from experiencing an abundant life, it’s not being able to get over hurts and disappointments caused by other people or circumstances somewhere in your past.
I have encountered this countless times, both with patients at our pathology practice and people at various churches with whom I have had contact. In some cases, things that happened years before are as real to people as if it were last week. They continue to talk about this issues involved and how their sleep and general health is affected. Often, their live are devoid of joy or peace and it’s like they are carrying a great weight on the shoulders, which also weights on their minds, keeping resentment and bitterness their constant companions.
If this sounds like you, I strongly urge you to read the following words of scripture, written for our benefit by the apostle Paul. Here’s what he said; “…this one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind and reaching forth unto those things that are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”
The word “forgetting,” as it is used here, doesn’t mean having a loss of memory. It means refusing to allow past events, including our own mistakes, as well as things that have happened to us, to adversely affect our lives… now and in the future. This involves putting them behind us, consigning them to the past and moving on. This is never likely to be easy. In your own strength, you will never be able to achieve it. You will need the grace of God to help you.
In Paul’s case, he needed to “forget” some really heavy stuff. Before Christ put His hand on Paul’s life, this man spent most of his time persecuting the early disciples. He was an accessory to the murder of at least one of them. It took a close encounter with Jesus to turn Paul’s life around and get him started on the course God had planned for him.
Let me share the experiences of one lady with you, that might encourage you if you need to “get over” stuff in your life. If you desire to be a more effective ambassador for Christ in you place of work or your local church or with people with whom you come into contact, you might also find her story encouraging.
Escape from bitterness
I had been invited to bring the address at the opening of a new church. Here was a keen group of people, wanting to make a difference to peoples’ lives, in their own community.
I’d been given plenty of notice, so I set some time aside to prepare a suitable message, aimed at encouraging them in their efforts. Instead of coming up with something “suitable”, I kept getting the very clear idea that I should talk about the effect long standing bitterness can have on a person’s life. The thought would simply not go away. I even came up with a title for my talk, which was, “Bitterness…poison from the past.”
It became clear that this was what I had to do… explain how being bitter, on an ongoing basis, can affect us emotionally and make our lives miserable.
On the Sunday morning, when it was time for me to share with congregation, I simply pointed out these things, then asked the people to stand with me while I prayed. During this prayer time, I suggested that any person present who was living with bitterness towards another person, even if they were innocent victims, needed to give up their right to keep feeling this way, so they could get on with their lives.
After the service, I was talking to some of the members of the congregation, when I noticed two ladies, who appeared to be waiting for an opportunity to talk with me.
As soon as I was free, they came over to me. One of them was a member of the church. The other lady was her neighbour, whom she had invited to come to the church opening.
The first lady said that her neighbour wanted to tell me what had happened to her while we had been praying. She was now in her forties and when she was a child, her father, who was a heavy drinker, would beat her when he came home drunk. The last time this happened, she was thirteen years old. She told me that he hit her in the face and her nose was damaged so badly, that fragments of bone were driven into her face. She required several operations, which left her with a mis-shapen nose and deep bitterness towards her father, who had since died. When I encouraged those at the service to give up their right to feel bitter, she decided she needed to do so. She quietly made this her prayer, under her breath, as I prayed. As soon as she did this, she said huge tears began to flow from her eyes. She didn’t want to be embarrassed in front of her friend, so she quickly took out her handkerchief, to wipe her eyes. As she did so, she noticed something was different. She excused herself and hurried off to the ladies room. There, she looked in the mirror and discovered that her nose looked normal.
She invited me to take a look (which I had been trying not to let her see me actually doing.) I’m not an expert on noses, but I couldn’t see anything abnormal about hers.
Her final words really impressed me. She said, “God healed me on the inside and the outside too.” In the space of a few moments, as she prayed, thirty years of bitterness and self consciousness were literally washed away.
(Extract from Neville's first book, "Ultimate Journey." (chapter four) See the book here