Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 (NLT)
18 Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. 19 And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life�this is indeed a gift from God. 20 God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.
The words of the wise King Solomon reminding us of what God has given to each of us. We are to enjoy life and accept what we have been given. For we have been blessed by God. Solomon also tells us God gives us the work of the present, the anticipation of the future and the enjoyment of life so that we do not concentrate on the shortcomings of the past.
Our life is the sum total of our past. Every positive or negative emotion we have ever dealt with will influence our life. Sometimes negative feelings can be good. For instance if you learned a stove was hot when you touched it you probably held onto that unpleasant feeling as a reminder not to touch the stove again. Just as feelings are healthy they can also be unhealthy. Maybe you were accidentally hurt as a child; and now that experience causes fear and distress in similar circumstances. If you have unhealthy feelings that were never resolved in the past they will find their way to the present. A similar situation of the past will often trigger an old unpleasant emotion. An example I have used from my life is when I would get angry as a child my mother would tell me, �You remind me of your father�. My mother was divorced, so I only knew my father from what I had been told; he was an abusive alcoholic who had hurt my mother and loved alcohol more than he loved us. So while my mother may have been trying to state she could see the expressive anger on my face like my father�s; I internalized it as I was a bad, mean, worthless child. In more present times I met a cousin from my father�s side of the family. He knew my father and when he saw me said, �You remind me of your father.� Those were the very same words my mother use to tell me and suddenly unpleasant emotions flooded over me. The cousin continued to say, �I can see the resemblance around your eyes and nose.� Suddenly I realized how the past had influenced my present, because the cousin meant no harm in his words. My mother meant no real harm, unwittingly though her words produced unhealthy emotions in me because of the limited knowledge of my father. God does not want us brooding over the past. Instead God wants us to pay attention to the present and let the issues of the past go. Do you have resentment, hurt or sorrow from the past? Maybe it is time to ask God to help you let it go because it may be influencing your present in the wrong way.