Romans 15:4

4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Over the past few days, a repeated thought has been playing at the corners of my mind. “Honor the past…” When I turned to Scripture to see what words of wisdom would be revealed to me, I realized that there are many instances where God reminds us of what He has done in the past, so that He may do even more in the future. He reminds us of where we’ve been so that He can contrast that with what He has in store for us.

While Isaiah 43:18 tells us to “forget the former things; do not dwell in the past,” God repeatedly reminds us of what He has done for us, so that we can see where we once were, and rejoice in where He is taking us now.

We’re not called to dwell in the past, where we lose sight of the present and even possibly the future. But we are called to honor the past; recognizing God at work in it and through us. While He chooses to forget the past, and has forgiven us the sins that went with it, we should relinquish shame and guilt, while still remembering what went before.

As writers, we have a unique opportunity to reflect God’s glory to others, showing what God is capable of doing through those who love Him. If we blot out the past instead, as God has done, we lose the lessons that come with our experience; lessons we still need.

It’s those lessons that are among our most valuable treasures. They are to be shared with those around us to instruct, encourage, and guide; but most of all to offer hope – the hope that can only come from the One True God, the giver and author of Life.

So, as you write, I encourage you to honor the past and the lessons God has chosen to teach you through it. Cast off the garments of fear and shame, and share the story that is uniquely yours to tell.

God has worked in your life in ways that are specific to you. But your story has the ability to encourage someone and offer hope. Don’t hold on to it solely for yourself. Be a good steward of all that God has taught you, and share it with those in need of hearing it.

In this way, we will continue to instruct each other, while allowing endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures to offer hope through our words.

About Tara

Tara R. Alemany is a best-selling author and speaker. Her books include "The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books," "The Character-Based Leader," "My Love to You Always," "Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude," and her latest title "The Best is Yet to Come."

In her spare time, Tara is a recognized thought leader who runs Aleweb Social Marketing, does her best to raise her two teenagers, and serves on two Boards of Directors. She is also Chaplain of her local Word Weavers chapter, and is a black belt in Tang Soo Do.

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