Summary: Do you live in the past? Jesus said, "No one who has put their hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom of heaven." Why is looking back dangerous? Let’s explore it together.

When Your Memories Become Your Enemies:

Learn To Look To Jesus


I want to talk with you today on the subject:


Did you know that your mind is one of God’s greatest creations?

That’s why the mind is a terrible thing to waste, because God created it and made it so wonderfully.

Dr. Earl Radmacher says this about the human mind:

“The human mind is a fabulous computer. As a matter of fact, no one has been able to design a computer as intricate and efficient as the human mind. Consider this: your brain is capable of recording 800 memories per second for 75 years without ever getting tired.”

Now, that spells bad news for some people who say they can never memorize scripture.

Scientists tell us that human beings never use more than 2% of their total brainpower.

Now, obviously some people demonstrate this fact more than others.

But our mind is a wonderful thing. It stores information and keeps it on file so that at any moment you can retrieve a sensation you’ve experienced:

A familiar smell that brings back a memory

A familiar sound that triggers a memory.

A familiar sight that triggers your mind to replay mental movies.

Your memory is one of your mind’s highest functions.

But what happens when your memories are unpleasant or disturbing?

What do you do with them then?

You can’t delete them or erase them.

Dr. Earl Radmacher says:

“The brain is capable of an incredible amount of work and it retains everything it takes in. You never really forget anything; you just don’t recall it. Everything is on permanent file in your brain.”

Good memories are stored forever. Bad memories are stored forever.

Good memories we don’t mind so much.

But what are you and I to do with all of our bad memories?

How do we handle them?

Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

• You can recall some money somebody still owes you.

• You can recall a parent or boss being unfair to you.

• You can recall a time when prejudice or partiality caused you pain.

• A time when someone started a rumor that damaged your reputation.

• A time when someone you thought was your friend turned on you.

• Perhaps one of your children, now grown, is a disappointment to you or won’t speak to you.

• Perhaps a mate has been unfaithful to you.

• Perhaps the physicians made a terrible mistake and contributed to the death of your loved one.

Whatever it is that haunts your memory, how are you dealing with that?

A lot of Psychologists will tell you to revisit your childhood and attempt to discover what caused your pain.

We call this: REFLECTION

To reflect on something is to look back at it.

To let your mind take you back to a different place and a different time.

And reflection can be very helpful in making changes in our lives.

But it can also be very damaging if we aren’t careful in how we do it.

In Luke’s Gospel Chapter 9 and verse 62 Jesus cautions you and I against looking back.

Notice what he says in Luke 9:62.

Luke 9:62

“But Jesus said to him ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’.”

If you and I are going to follow Jesus Christ wholeheartedly, we must get a grip on this issue of LOOKING BACK.

I want to caution you this morning with “4 Warnings About Looking Back”.

What damage can the wrong kind of looking back do in our lives?

1. CAUTION! Looking Back At Past Failures May Cause You To Hold Back In the Present.

Let me ask you some questions:

• Are you capable of more than you are accomplishing?

• Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and can’t seem to get out of it?

• Do you feel that you are not fulfilling your potential?

If you feel this way, what’s holding you back? What’s keeping you down?

Could it be that you have been looking back at your past failures and that looking back at your past failures has caused you to be fearful to attempt anything new in the present?

Perhaps you think that because you’ve failed in the past, that means you will fail in the present.

• Maybe you’ve been trying to read the Bible through this year.

But instead of sticking with it, you quit.

Do you think that automatically means you can never do better in the future?

• Maybe you have been trying to get yourself and your family to church more often, but your attendance has dropped off.

Do you think that means you can’t do better next time?

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