Confusing The Past With The Present

I have had opportunities to lose my peace this weekend. One person in particular challenged my patience, with rude looks and angry voices. Normally, I would take offense at this and hold it against them, but the Holy Spirit stopped me dead in my tracks each time I moved in that direction.

God kept reminding me that this person is doing the very best that they can. They love as much as they are capable of loving, and in their world, I am actually at the top of the heap of the people they love. Although I may do things to annoy them, their responses to me reflect where THEY are in their walk with Christ and what THEIR temperament is, not where I am in my walk with Christ nor MY temperament. It is always so tempting to say, “Well, I wouldn’t do it that way!”

We are all broken people, but we experience more brokenness when the present hurt feels uncomfortably like an old hurt. We assign the meaning we derived from past experiences to present occurrences, but that doesn’t mean that the person in front of us is doing things for that old reason. We ASSume a lot about the people around us when, as far as they are concerned, they’re not doing anything wrong – just doing the best that they can at this point in their life.

That is why it is so important to clear out the memories that are haunting us, causing us to see present day people as if they are someone from our past who hurt us. They are not the same – it’s apples and oranges, two different things.


So who and what are you responding to in the present that may be affected by what happened to you in the past?