“BREAKING THE POWER OF THE PAST
Please take note that Joseph didn’t let his bad family background interfere with his present responsibility.
Let me say again what we’ve been trying to say we can’t use someone else’s irresponsibility in the past as an excuse for our irresponsibility in the present. If you are blaming what your parents or your wife or the government did for what you are not doing now, you need a wake-up call, my brother. You need to live up to your responsibilities.
I know your father or mother or “the system” may have stripped away your self-esteem. But Jesus Christ can give it back to you. I sometimes get into”
“a lot of trouble when I talk to African-American groups because I reject the idea of using the reality of slavery as a reason for irresponsible behavior today.
Please read me very carefully here. Slavery was bad. Slavery was horrible. It was inhuman, ungodly, and unbiblical. It did a number on my people who were oppressed. But to tell me that what happened to our forefathers then is keeping African-American men from being what God wants us to be now is just giving us an out, an excuse, for our irresponsibility. No more excuses.
Let me tell you something. When the Dallas Cowboys get into their huddle during a football game, they don’t say, “We’d better not try to move the ball, or those men on the other side of the line are going to nail us.” The whole point of the game is to run your plays and find the ones your opponent can’t stop so you can move the ball and score without getting nailed every time.
What I am saying is that you can learn from your past, but you cannot allow your past to control your present decisions. When you do that, your “life becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. “Well, I knew I was going to get nailed because of what has happened to me. But I tried, and sure enough, I got nailed.”
Too many of us are looking for an excuse to hang our fears and shortcomings on. If I weren’t in the ministry, I would be a psychiatrist because I would be free to charge people $200 an hour to tell them why they need to come back next week. They would come back too, because a lot of people want to keep blaming. You say, “My father wouldn’t work.” Well, you’d better get a job.
You say, “My father beat my mother.” Then you’d better learn some self-control. The problems in your past should become object lessons to show you where you need to be different, not excuses for you to repeat them.
vision, purpose, destiny,