I was listening to an old interview conducted by Ed Bradley of “60 Minutes.” He was talking to Willie Nelson about the past and how he would do things differently. One of the things that Willie said time and age had taught him was that we’re not in control of our lives. Circumstances, events, and especially people are outside the realm of our control. And when we try to focus on what we can’t control and neglect what we can, our lives drift into chaos.
I got to thinking about that so I want to advocate letting go; letting go of the past, letting go of pain. Here are some conditions under which letting go will help you move forward.
1. If you’re holding onto something that doesn’t belong to you; it’s not your dream or your calling, or something you know in your heart God intended for your life, then you need to let it go.
2. If you’re holding on to past disappointments and pains, people who have done you wrong, let it go.
3. If someone can’t treat you right, love you back, know your worth, and elevate your life, let them go.
4. If someone abuses you with their language; degrades, demeans, and detracts from you with their actions, it’s time to let them go.
5. If someone has angered you, thereby taken over your head-space, you need to let them go.
6. If you’re holding onto some evil thoughts of revenge, or plot for getting even, let it go.
7. If you’re involved in the wrong relationship that you know doesn’t honor you, or God, or anyone else, let it go.
8. If you’re heading down the path of an addiction, and even though it may be harmless now, you know the early warning signs, let it go.
9. If you’re holding onto a job that no longer challenges you, inspires you, meets your needs, or helps you develop your talents, let it go.
10. If you have a bad attitude, let it go.
11. If you feel the roots of bitterness taking hold in your life, dig it up right now and let it go.
12. If you keep judging others in order to make yourself feel better, let it go.
13. If you find your conversation going to gossip and cutting down those around you, let it go.
14. If you’re stuck in the past and God is trying to take you to a new level, though you resist the change, let it go.
15. If you’re struggling with healing a broken or bruised relationship, let it go.
16. If you’re trying to help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves and you keep hitting your head against a brick wall, let it go.
1<strong>7. If you’re feeling depressed and stressed over the future, let it go.
18. If there’s a particular situation that you’re so used to handling yourself and you can hear in your heart during the quiet times God saying, “let it go, take your hands off.” Then you need to let it go.
19. Let the past be the past. Forget the former things. God is doing a new thing. So let the past go.
20. If you’re living with thoughts of what might have been, let it go.
21. If you’re worried about the future, about growing old or becoming obsolete, let it go.
22. If you’re afraid of being abandoned by God, let it go.
23. If you keep confessing the same old sins over and over again, though God has forgiven you and you keep rehearsing it, let it go.
24. If you doubt yourself, that you’re gifted, called, and worthy, let it go.
Letting go is the bravest thing and maybe the best thing you’ll ever do for yourself. Because oftentimes, it’s not until we let it go that God is able to bring in the new thing. Remember, at the end of a really good thing is a better thing waiting to be born, if you’ll just let it go.