Dealing with the past

Newsletter from Don Dickerman July 2023


Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.   

(Philippians 4:8)

Your memory is one of the very remarkable parts of your complex being. It serves as a news system for the brain, it is like the brain’s history book. It is a think bank containing millions, perhaps billions of memoranda.  It stores feelings and impressions, experiences, things seen, things heard, and things felt. It is amazing that our memory can recall so many things, just at the impulse of desiring to recall a past event.  We are able to dwell on that happening and bring to our memory even more details by willing to . . . unfortunately, the memory can serve us or enslave us.  This is a choice that each individual makes.  For in each person’s memory bank are both positive and negative events.  I can recall whichever I choose.  I can make them dominant parts of my memory by dwelling on them more often than others.

There are multitudes of people who feel they can never survive the hurts of the past. They think there are things they can never get over. They think and speak of them constantly, which tends to re-enforce the negative feelings.  They say there is someone they can never forgive for a hurt or horror brought into their life.  Many of these «dark» memories come out of our youth when we were delicate and impressionable.  A sorrow that so crushed us we feel we can never turn it loose.  Many feel they can never forgive someone who mistreated them.  These «dark» memories can cause maladjustment in our lives and can often be doorways for demons.


Lingering bruises may come from the workplace or with associates. Perhaps you feel you were cheated or wronged in a way that you feel justified in holding to anger and un-forgiveness.  It may be “Dark» memories from painful experiences in your marriage or relationship with the opposite sex.  The source of painful memories is limitless. The bottom line is, it is not what happened to you, it is how you have responded to what happened!

Many times, wounds come from silly incidents.  Words not intended to hurt. I heard about a wife who wanted a divorce from her husband. She decided to find an attorney and get it done.  The lawyer asked her why she wanted a divorce.  She said, “It’s just not working out.” The attorney said, “What I mean is for the divorce do you have any legal grounds?” The woman said, “Yes, we have 2 acres.” “No, no, “He replied, “Do you have any legal grounds? “Yes, she said, “it’s all properly recorded at the courthouse.” “Ma’am,” he said, “I mean does he beat you up ever? “Nope, I’m an early riser, I don’t think he has ever beat me up.”  Frustrated the lawyer asked, “Lady, do you have a reason, do you have a grudge?” “Yeah, we have a two-car garage.” “WHY?” the frustrated lawyer asked, “do want a divorce? “Oh that’s easy we just can’t seem to communicate.”

Sometimes, probably most often, it is your perception of the situation rather than the actual problem.  You can be humiliated, lied against, deceived, betrayed, can even suffer bodily harm and still you can get over it.  Your response to the problem determines the magnitude of the problem.

«There has no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it.» I Corinthians 10:13

The problems you have experienced in life may be greater than what others have experienced, but probably not!  Others have had bitter, unpleasant experiences as well.  Though they may be very different in nature than yours, perhaps not as severe as yours, everyone has had problems that have left scars and painful memories. 

If you have been through it … be through with it!

Thank God, you’ve made it through if you’ve been through it thank Him for the grace that helped you do it.

You must continually be aware that you have not been singled out for suffering, and that in this world problems are normal.

In many years of prison ministry I have met the extreme cases of «painful pasts» but the problem is not the painful past, it is the way the individuals chose to deal with the problem.  Some have sought to justify their wrong actions because of wrongs done to them in the past.  When demon powers gain access to our thinking it becomes an area where demons torment don’t allow self-pity and “poor me” thinking to control your life.  


You must know, you must come to grips with the fact that crisis is normal, problems are common, unpleasant memories of the past are in everyone’s life . . . not just yours.  How you handle the past will depend pretty much on how you handled yourself.  If you don’t handle the past, it will handle you. 


Romans 8:22-28

“For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.  For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

The whole creation groans, we groan with it. The laws of sin and death is where we live.  Paul also said in Romans 7:1 That the law will have dominion over us all the days of our life.   We blame demons for a lot of our problems and in many cases that is true…we are all the products of our ancestry.  Our blessings come from and through our ancestry.  So do curses!  Generation curse from 6,000 years of ancestry may apply to any life.

The permissions demons have gained through ancestral curse must be broken.  Many times, I have encountered demons that have been in a family for thousands of years, often the demon will respond with something like. “No one ever told me to go” my command is then this is a bad day for you, today you are being cast into the abyss!

Sometimes dealing with the past means dealing also with the sins of our ancestors.  Every parent should be freeing their children by dealing with not only what they have passed to their children but what may have come through their ancestry.

Just for Jesus,