Some people go through life looking into the rearview mirror. They yearn for the “good old days” when life seemed better. Families were stronger, Christians were nobler, people were happier—or so they think!
The ancient Hebrews were masters of glorifying the ugly past. As slaves in Egypt they had been desperate! Yet after Moses led them out of bondage, they were soon idealizing the “good old days.” Many of them actually wanted to go back to Egypt and again stick their necks under a yoke and feel Pharaoh’s lash. Little wonder that God canceled their passport to the Promised Land.
Some Christians would like to get back to the “good old days” of the church. But which church? Believers have faced huge difficulties since the days of Paul. The early church was plagued by sexual immorality (1 Cor. 5:1), heresy (Gal. 1:6-7), and dissension (Acts 15:1-2). There were no good old days for the church—not in the first century, not in the sixteenth, and not in the twentieth.
Avoid the trap of looking back—unless it’s to recall a lesson learned or to glory in what God has accomplished. Remember, for those whose lives are centered in Christ, the best is always yet to come.
How often God gives victory
And then we revel in the deed,
While present opportunity
Slips past its bloom and turns to seed. —Gustafson
When we live in the past, we tarnish the present and ignore the future.