One of my favourite subjects is history. I love stories. I love to hear about things that happened in the past; how events unfolded; how people lived their lives, what made them tick, how they responded to different situations; all with one aim in mind, to seek to understand how those who have gone on before coped with, and survived; their triumphs as well as their tragedies.
These things have always fascinated me and I have taken an interest not just in the history of nations but that of individuals. The subject of history has so many benefits. It helps us to understand the past, to draw key lessons and to apply those lessons or the principles inherent in those events to our own contemporary world.
However in the course of time I have come to the conclusion that at a personal level we can become prisoners of our own history. Each one of us is an amalgam of our experiences of family and friends; exposure to different situations, our education and society at large. These influences invariably inform our choices, key decisions, personality and indeed, our world view.
Sadly there are those whose personal history seems to be a litany of pain, of tragedies, hurts, abuse and failures. The biggest tragedy however is not what has happened to those individuals, but rather how a vast majority seem to allow themselves to be shaped by their history, and also locked in what I call the prison of their history. They are trapped, immobilised and seemingly unable to make their way out of life’s ever-deepening rut. This however does not have to be the case. The good news is that God’s plan for mankind is to bring us out the prison of our history. It is a supernatural jail break. In Jeremiah 29.11 God says, ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’
In the next article we will be looking at how we can break out of the prison of our personal history.
In the meantime, why not spend some time reflecting on the following points.
- First, consider for a moment how you might be a prisoner of your history; if not generally, then perhaps in a particular area.
- Second, are you nursing deep wounds of unforgiveness as a result of what someone has said or done to you? If yes, then that is a form of imprisonment.
- Third, why don’t you ask God to heal you of past hurts, offences or abuse; that He would break the chain that might be holding you captive in your own personal prison?
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2013©
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