One of the psychological defenses we have is to repaint our past to justify our present choices for our future. Have you ever heard someone say, “We were never close…” or “He never really did anything nice for me…” or something that you simply knew wasn’t true? You may wonder why the person would even say something when you can produce video, witnesses, and proofs that their statements were never so.
What they are trying to do is convince themselves of something so they can make a choice that they could only really justify if the way they are presenting their past was true. So they misinterpret and redefine their past so that they can feel less guilt about putting the relationship behind them.
Whatever the person decides to do with their future, encourage others not to destroy what they had, even if only in their minds. Remind them to take a look back at their past and their foundation and to go and appreciate the history they had with someone. Many times, when I have had troubled marriages go back and look at all they’ve done together, all they’ve gone through together, and some of the victories and triumphs they experienced together or even some of the storms they have weathered together, they often realize they have more to lose than they wanted to admit.
When David faced Goliath, he not only took up 5 smooth stones in his sling, but before he flung them at Goliath, he recounted all God had done for him in the past. He said, in 1 Samuel 17.37, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bar, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
What “Goliath” are you facing in your relationship? What has God already helped you go through to stay together in the past? Rehearse past victories. Celebrate the history you have with someone. Remember some of the things you loved about each other in the past and what helped you get through past trials. And pick up your stones, knowing full well that the same God that saw you through to victory against the lion and the bear will get you through this Goliath!