Monday, April 6th, 2020

Are You Held Hostage By Your Past?


held hostage by your pastYou’ve probably made some big mistakes in your life.  You could have even had a few major doozies where you can’t even figure out how you messed up so badly.

We’ve all made mistakes.  We’ve all had failures.  And we’ve all sinned.

So join the club with the rest of us.

You can’t allow your past to hold your future hostage.

For example, some people have trouble understanding God’s forgiveness because of what they have in their past.  It’s tough to get over whatever they’ve done.  In those cases, you need to look at those in the Bible.  Paul was called Saul before he came to Christ and he was the one hunting down and putting Christians to death.

But he never allowed his past to hold his future hostage.  He preached the Gospel everywhere he went and wrote 2/3rds of the New Testament after his conversion.

God will forgive you of anything in your past.  All you have to do is ask, repent, and then forgive yourself.  Forgiving yourself is the hardest step there is.

This applies to your failures as well.

Perhaps you tried to start a business a few years ago.  You lost both time and money.  Perhaps you even ended up in debt from it.

I know the feeling.  I failed at multiple different businesses before I discovered the Internet.  It seemed like I was a failure going somewhere to happen.

But I didn’t quit.  I didn’t allow those failures to hold me back from the future.  Sure, it was tough to get over them in the beginning.  It was hard to believe I could succeed when all my previous experience was failure.

I moved forward anyway.  Learn from your past mistakes, but don’t let them hold you back.

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Phil 3:13-14, NKJV

What is your past is holding you back today?  What is weighing you down?

When I went to motorcycle safety class years ago, one of the toughest things for me to practice was turning my head fully as you go into a turn.

On a motorcycle you’re turn your head toward the direction you want to go.  Focus on where you want to end up.  In other words, look into the corner instead of staring at the pavement you’re trying to avoid!

If you’re constantly looking at your past, you’re sabotaging your future.

This is true in your spiritual walk, your relationships, your health, and your career/business.

All of the entrepreneurs I’ve spoken to have their “failure” story.  It sometimes seems that failure in business is almost a prerequisite to long-term success.  Some succeed right out of the gate and then find a way to run their business into the ground later.

If you’ve lost money in business previously, then you’ve already overcome one of the major hurdles we’ve all gone through.

Here’s where we need some reader participation.

How have you gotten over failures in your past and put them completely behind you?

About Terry Dean
I've been in full-time business online since 1996. I've been an ordained minister since 1993. Yes, business and ministry are my passions. I also love God, my wife Julie, my two dogs, the outdoors, and video games.


13 Responses to “Are You Held Hostage By Your Past?”
  1. susan bruining says:

    sometimes it feels like i’ve been hold hostage, it seemed like that was just what i needed to hear today; god has a great plan for all of use and we should look into the direction that we want go and figure out what direction god want us to take i feel blessed thank you lord jesus!

  2. Chris says:

    Thanks Terry I always appreciate your candor and good will.
    I have tried a few things on line all of which have failed.
    I own a small construction business for 10+ years and I
    hope to utilize the internet to increase that business and
    provide a much better living for my family. Thanks for your
    encouragement. Chris.

    • Terry Dean says:

      I often find that those with previous offline business experience have an advantage when they come online because they understand the problems you run into owning a business. And they alos understand having other people do the work as needed (and the issues you sometimes have with these workers). Be blessed.

  3. Scott Vogel says:

    God chooses to discipline us as we would discipline a child because he loves us so much.

    Moses, was a murderer and he went into exile and herded sheep through the desert. God chose to not only forgive him, but task him with a great responsiblity to lead a different flock.

    Terry, with God’s help I’ve been able to overcome a major failure, I lost a business, lost my family (temporarily) and lost my freedom. I basically lost everything due to some very bad life choices.

    Fortunately, I found God, found his Love and forgiveness and have been able to put it in the past and allow God’s will into my life to Serve God and Help others.

    What a true gift we are all allowed to get, reaching out for the loving arms of God.

    Thank you for being a true man of God.


    • Terry Dean says:

      I’m glad you brought up Moses. He is an excellent example because when God came to him to tell him to go back to Egypt. He constantly said he couldn’t do it because he couldn’t speak, but he had been trained up in Egypt. So of course he could speak. He just forgot what God had put him during this time!

  4. Vern Brown says:

    I think, Terry, that you should be nicknamed the “nerve doctor”, for all the times you cut right to our nerve center!!
    One [of many] failure for me was when I started my own {Christian] Real Estate company. I really thought I could help out my Christian friends, through our common faith. I ended up, two years later, much in debt, while I was ‘shunned’ by my Christian ‘friends’. I was told, many times, that I should keep my faith “in church”, not in the workplace. [Christ admonishes us to “go into ALL the world…”]
    I must admit, that took a lot out of me and a long time recovering.
    But GOD!! It increased my tenacity, to not give up on what you “believe” in your heart!!
    I’ve been marketing on the internet since 1999 and have yet to see [so-called] success! But, I’m “sticking to it”!! Praise the LORD!!

    • Terry Dean says:

      @Vern Brown – I hate to be negative here but my opinion is that if your site hasn’t been working for years, then you need to make major changes to it. Yes, there are problems. Yes you have to overcome. But that doesn’t mean you keep trying to same thing if it isn’t working. You work to discover what does work for you.

      You didn’t ask for comments about your site but I’m going to give you a couple that hopefully help. I clicked the link in sig and the biggest problem there is I couldn’t tell what you want a new visitor to do. Did you want them to subscribe to something? If so you should tell me right up front. Tell me what problem you solve…what you can promise me in the free course…and then ask for me to signup with the form right there. Right now I find your site confusing and wouldn’t know what to do when I visit.

  5. Orestes says:

    Hi! Terry,

    Thanks for the great post as I still have very big problem with the past.I was a drug dealer and spend total 11 years behind bars till I gave my heart in truth to the Lord in 1997 and since then praise God I´m a new creation.But I always look back to my mistakes and intead of forgive myself I condemn myself saying how stupid I´ve been in my life. That always made me to think that I´m worthless to be use by God and that make me very sad as I would like to do good things specially to prosper to help and work with orphan children which is my passion as I don´t want them to be an easy pray for the hunters of this unmerciful world and end up behind bars one day like me.

    Thanks again for the wonderful post and blessigs to you and all the brothers and sisters here.


    • Terry Dean says:

      @Orestes – He who is forgiven much, loveth much. As you said, you’re a new creation. That was the old man that did those things, and you’ve changed. Paul the apostle did more than any of us for God, and he was killing Christians before he was saved! You can’t allow that past to hold your future hostage. Your story can help save others from going the same direction you did.

      • Scott Vogel says:

        Terry makes an excellent point with Paul. Had he not committed the crimes of persecuting the Cristians he would not have been chosen by God to write so much of the New Testament. It’s our stories who make us who we are. I too was imprisoned and God gave me that time as he did you, to come to know Him, His word and His way. I can now help others not to make the same mistakes I did. Like Paul, we get to share what we know now and help others as we serve our almighty loving God.


  6. Vern Brown says:

    @Terry Dean – Thanks for the insight, Terry. That alone is worth being here on this forum!
    Now, how would you like to ‘critique’ my other sites?? Kidding!!
    BE BLESSED . . .

  7. Orestes says:


    Thanks so much Terry and Scott for your wonderful advices which I´ll put in my heart.You are both
    right and I will change and instead of feeling ashame and worthless I will use my pass to help
    others that they may go in the good way.Our loving God has a wonderful plan for each of us so I
    will close my ears from the father of lies and just listen to the Lord who love us and see us precious
    in his eyes.

    Good to be in this site with all of you brothers as very often we all need encouragement from each
    other and thanks Terry for the idea of having this place where we can get mean a lot.

    Blessings to all!

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