Are you determined to forget what lies behind? I know many people don’t fully understand what it means to forget the past. They wonder, “How can I forget something that’s happened to me?” But one definition of the word forget means to disregard intentionally, or to overlook. You have to intentionally disregard your past so that it doesn’t keep you from moving forward. That means the good and the bad. Sometimes our past victories keep us from rising higher as much as past failures.
If we don’t let go of the old, we’ll never be able to embrace the new. It doesn’t matter what’s happened in your history, it’s time to forget what lies behind. Make the choice today to press forward. Trust that God has a better future in store for you. Trust that He’s working behind the scenes on your behalf. As you forget what lies behind and press forward, you will see the abundant life the Lord has in store for you!
Many Asian American students come from a family that has many high expectations. Parents expect their children to be straight A students, musical prodigies, and children that can be shown off to all their friends and family members. At family gatherings, parents would compete with each other to see who raised a better child. I would hear, “My son got a 2300 on the SAT.” and in response, another parent would brag, “My child passed with a perfect score on the final violin exam.” As a child that grew up in one of these families, I was very stressed and always worked to please my parents. My parents wanted me to be a star child so I would get into the best schools and get a high paying job so that I can live a luxurious lifestyle. I began to develop this mindset that my life is in my hands, and whatever I do determines my future. If I choose to work hard in life, I will succeed, and if I choose to slack off, I will have a difficult life.
While I was growing up, I always thought that I was Buddhist because that is what I thought my family believed in. I did not know what Buddhism was, and what God I was suppose to be praising, but I always believed in a God that created us all. In college, I had a good friend that went to Epic and I decided to go to a meeting one week since I needed some new friend. At the meeting, we were told to separate into groups and share to each other about our religion and what we believed in. I shared that I was a Buddhist, but I do believe in a God. One of the people in my group, Danny Shin, went up to me and asked me if I wanted to grab some lunch with him one day, and I agreed. At lunch, he shared the gospel with me, and that was my first time hearing it. He also shared about some of the miracles that he has heard of, and he also shared some Francis Chan videos. After all the bombardment of stories and testimonies, it just baffled me and I really had to carefully process all this new information. Danny recommended me to meet Shinny later on, and Shinny was the one who went through the KGP booklet with me. He went through page by page, and by the end, I prayed with him, and at that moment I accepted Christ.
After getting to know Christ, I was transformed. I thought differently, I acted differently, and treated my relationships with people differently. I started learning a lot about God’s unconditional love for me, and how he would always have my back. I learned about how God will always accept me for who I am. In his eyes, despite all the sins, I am perfect, and his son. He will accept me whether I am the most intelligent person in the world or the dumbest person in the world. He will love me for who I am because I am his own creation. Another thing that I have learned after coming to know Christ is that God is the ultimate provider. He will always have my back no matter what, and will always come through for me whenever I need him. In life, I have nothing to fear other than God. God can always take away anything that he has given us. But if I sincerely love God and allow him to take control of my life, he will continue to watch over me.
My parents have always loved me, but meeting their expectations is close to impossible. They get mad because I spend so much of my time on God instead of studies, but I try to explain that I do not need riches to be happy. I am still praying that my family will one day get to know Christ and understand how much I love and rely on God. It may take a while, but I know that God does work slowly.
Following what God has commanded us to do can be hard at times, but in the end, I know for a fact that it is all worth it. Many people will criticize us, but we have to remember that life on Earth is only temporary. When we are facing the most difficult times, and we are just losing hope in everything, God will always pick us back up.
19 Things To Stop Doing In Your 20s
1. Stop placing all the blame on other people for how they interact with you. To an extent, people treat you the way you want to be treated. A lot of social behavior is cause and effect. Take responsibility for (accept) the fact that you are the only constant variable in your equation.
2. Stop being lazy by being constantly “busy.” It’s easy to be busy. It justifies never having enough time to clean, cook for yourself, go out with friends, meet new people. Realize that every time you give in to your ‘busyness,’ it’s you who’s making the decision, not the demands of your job.
3. Stop seeking out distractions. You will always be able to find them.
4. Stop trying to get away with work that’s “good enough.” People notice when “good enough” is how you approach your job. Usually these people will be the same who have the power to promote you, offer you a health insurance plan, and give you more money. They will take your approach into consideration when thinking about you for a raise.
5. Stop allowing yourself to be so comfortable all the time. Coming up with a list of reasons to procrastinate risky, innovative decisions offers more short-term gratification than not procrastinating. But when you stop procrastinating to make a drastic change, your list of reasons to procrastinate becomes a list of ideas about how to better navigate the risk you’re taking.
6. Stop identifying yourself as a cliche and start treating yourself as an individual. Constantly checking your life against a prewritten narrative or story of how things “should” be is a bought-into way of life. It’s sort of like renting your identity. It isn’t you. You are more nuanced than the narrative you try to fit yourself into, more complex than the story that “should” be happening.
7. Stop expecting people to be better than they were in high school — learn how to deal with it instead. Just because you’re out of high school doesn’t mean you’re out of high school. There will always be people in your life who want what you have, are threatened by who you are, and will ridicule you for doing something that threatens how they see their position in the world.
8. Stop being stingy. If you really care about something, spend your money on it. There is often a notion that you are saving for something. Either clarify what that thing is or start spending your money on things that are important to you. Spend money on road trips. Spend money on healthy food. Spend money on opportunities. Spend money on things you’ll keep.
9. Stop treating errands as burdens. Instead, use them as time to focus on doing one thing, and doing it right. Errands and chores are essentially rote tasks that allow you time to think. They function to get you away from your phone, the internet, and other distractions. Focus and attention span are difficult things to maintain when you’re focused and attentive on X amount of things at any given moment.
10. Stop blaming yourself for being human. You’re fine. Having a little anxiety is fine. Being scared is fine. Your secrets are fine. You’re well-meaning. You’re intelligent. You’re blowing it out of proportion. You’re fine.
11. Stop ignoring the fact that other people have unique perspectives and positions. Start approaching people more thoughtfully. People will appreciate you for deliberately trying to conceive their own perspective and position in the world. It not only creates a basis for empathy and respect, it also primes people to be more open and generous with you.
12. Stop seeking approval so hard. Approach people with the belief that you’re a good person. It’s normal to want the people around you to like you. But it becomes a self-imposed burden when almost all your behavior toward certain people is designed to constantly reassure you of their approval.
13. Stop considering the same things you’ve always done as the only options there are. It’s unlikely that one of the things you’ll regret when you’re older is not having consumed enough beer in your 20s, or not having bought enough $5 lattes, or not having gone out to brunch enough times, or not having spent enough time on the internet. Fear of missing out is a real, toxic thing. You’ve figured out drinking and going out. You’ve experimented enough. You’ve gotten your fill of internet memes. Figure something else out.
14. Stop rejecting the potential to feel pain. Suffering is a universal constant for sentient beings. It is not unnatural to suffer. Being in a constant state of suffering is bad. But it is often hard to appreciate happiness when there’s nothing to compare it to. Rejecting the potential to suffer is unsustainable and unrealistic.
15. Stop approaching adverse situations with anger and frustration. You will always deal with people who want things that seem counter to your interests. There will always be people who threaten to prevent you from getting what you want by trying to get what they want. This is naturally frustrating. Realize that the person you’re dealing with is in the same position as you — by seeking out your own interests, you threaten to thwart theirs. It isn’t personal — you’re both just focused on getting different things that happen to seem mutually exclusive. Approach situations like these with reason. Be calm. Don’t start off mad, it’ll only make things more tense.
16. Stop meeting anger with anger. People will make you mad. Your reaction to this might be to try and make them mad. This is something of a first-order reaction. That is, it isn’t very thoughtful — it may be the first thing you’re inclined to do. Try to suppress this reaction. Be thoughtful. Imagine your response said aloud before you say it. If you don’t have to respond immediately, don’t.
17. Stop agreeing to do things that you know you’ll never actually do. It doesn’t help anyone. To a certain extent, it’s a social norm to be granted a ‘free pass’ when you don’t do something for someone that you said you were going to do. People notice when you don’t follow through, though, especially if it’s above 50% of the time.
18. Stop ‘buying’ things you know you’ll throw away. Invest in friendships that aren’t parasitic. Spend your time on things that aren’t distractions. Put your stock in fleeting opportunity. Focus on the important.
19. Stop being afraid.