Don't Look Back

May 7, 2002
by Chad Janey

Genesis 19:26 – But Lot's wife behind him looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. (RSV)

If you are a Christian, then all the sins that you had in your life before your salvation experience have been forgiven and forgotten by God. Unfortunately, as humans, we are not able to forget those sins and remove them from our own minds. We often hold onto the sins of our past, and this often causes us much grief and turmoil in the present. I know that there are past sins in my life that I have been unable to erase from my thoughts and memory. Recalling these sins can often have a very negative impact on my life.

When we look back at the sins in our past we are in danger of having the desire to re-live or re-commit those same sins. After all, we commit sin not because it makes us feel bad, but because it makes us feel good. Sin appeals to and pleases our fleshly and worldly desires. Recalling past sins may also bring back feelings of guilt and shame.

In the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot's wife was reduced to a pillar of salt because she looked back. She cast a backwards glance toward the cities of sin, a glance that showed a still-present desire for that sinful place from which she was departing. God was providing freedom and a new life for her, but part of her heart still remained in her sinful past. She was unwilling to completely give up and abandon that past, and thus God brought the same destruction upon her.

While looking back upon our past sins will not likely reduce us to a pillar of salt, it can bring punishment and negative consequences into our lives. Rather than ever looking back, we need always to look upwards toward God. We need to rest in the assurance that God has both forgiven and forgotten our sins, and to remember that we are promised a more abundant life in Him.

Jesus told us that He came into this world that we might have life and have it more abundantly. We can receive much more abundance and joy in our lives by trusting and relying on God than we will ever receive from the sins we commit.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, we thank you for your gifts of abundant grace and forgiveness of our sins. We pray that you will give us the mental and spiritual strength to capture any thoughts or remembrances of past sin and instead focus our thoughts upon you. Amen.

About the author:

Chad Janey
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

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