I blew it!
There really are only three choices: 1) Deal it with it; 2) Try to ignore it; 3) Endlessly beat up yourself.
Trying to ignore it most likely won’t work.
Endlessly beating up yourself just results in crippling yourself and making you less able to deal with the present. And, if you hurt others, leaves them in a mess as well.
How do you deal with errors of the past?
1) Ask God to help you assess the problem.
2) Where you were wrong, confess and mourn your sin.
3) Repent—change your mind—about that behavior and determine to do things differently the next time. Determine not to repeat your mistake, your sin.
4) Learn. Numbers 1 – 3 require you to learn from your mistake. What were the underpinnings that caused your behavior? Seek healing. Determine to reject the old way of looking at and reacting to events.
5) Ask God to help you see whom you hurt.
6) Confess your error to those you hurt, and ask forgiveness.
7) In so far as possible, make things right.
8) Press on
If you do Numbers 1 -7, the past is fixed…sort of. We can’t change what happened, but we can change how the past affects the present and the future.
Paul said he forgot what lies behind and reached for what lies ahead, and pressed on…
I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12–14)
Appropriately, with God’s wisdom and help, dealing with the past informs and improves the future.
I haven’t talked about the future in this post, but our views of the future also impact the present. Our goal is:
Live in the present, in the light of the future, having learned from the past.