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Don't Look Back at the Past

In Philippians 3:13, Paul says, "But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead."

Of all of the "easier said than done" situations, forgetting the past might make the top of the list, and this could be especially true when it comes to forgetting past relationships. In fact, in a Men's Health survey of 3,000 people, 85% of respondents admitted to checking an ex's Facebook page.

Marriage expert and bestselling author Gary Thomas cautions that thinking too much about past relationships can be detrimental to our present ones.

Remembrance often takes two forms: remembering the bad of and feeling guilty or remembering the good and fantasizing about a former partner. Oftentimes, people will consider meeting up with an ex in hopes of gaining some sort of closure - a bad idea, according to Thomas.

"I've seen people try to do that and it almost always ends badly," he says. "First, you don't know what kind of a situation that person is in. You don't know if their marriage is rocky and you could present a temptation. You don't know how they'll interpret that."

Most importantly, he reminds us to not fall into one of Satan's most devious traps: taking a dead relationship to attack a living one. 

Reminding ourselves of God's grace and forgiveness can be a useful tool in relieving the guilt we might feel towards a past relationship.  

And for those who fantasize about a past relationship, remember: "There's a reason that relationship didn't work out. And every time you're living in the past in the form of a fantasy, it's robbing you of attention and energy that you could be putting into your marriage today," he says. "Why waste the time? You're cheating your spouse, you're cheating yourself." 

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God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
- James1:12 NLT
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Dear God, sometimes my "testing" season seems so long. Please give me courage to endure until the end. Help me not to bail! You said you would bless me for hanging in there - I will not give up on you or your promises. You are with me and will see me through this trial.