Here are 3 signs God is telling you that it is time to stop thinking about someone in your past.
1. If You Begin to Feel Anxious or Depressed When You Think About This Person in Your Past, God Is Telling You to Stop Thinking About Him or Her
Our feelings are often like the gauges on our car’s dashboard. When the gauges are working properly, they will tell you what is going on under the hood of the car. Likewise, when our feelings are working properly, they will reveal what good or bad things are occurring in our hearts. When we feel loved by God and at peace, we know our hearts are working well. But when we feel anxious or depressed, this is a sign something is not running properly inside of us and is need of repair. Philippians 4:6-8 (NIV) states:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Notice the connection between “do not be anxious” and our thoughts. A lack of peace is a sign our minds are being used to worry rather than to pray. When we pray and think about godly things, the peace in our hearts will increase.
So if your thoughts about this person do not cause you to have true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable thoughts, this is a sign God is telling you it’s time to stop thinking about this person.
2. If Your Thoughts About This Person Are Causing You to Be Too Earthly Focused, This Is a Sign God Is Leading You to Stop Thinking About Him or Her
When used properly, our earthly relationships are still a great blessing that bring glory to God. But if we are not careful, we can be tempted to believe that the only way we will be happy is if we find another human to love us. When your thoughts about someone in your past are beginning to cause you to place all your hope for joy on a relationship rather than on God himself, this is a sign God is leading you to stop thinking about this person.
As Colossians 3:2-3 states, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
3. If You Are Elevating Yourself in Your Own Mind When You Think About This Person, It’s Time to No Longer Think About This Past Relationship
Sometimes our minds dwell on past relationships where we felt wronged and betrayed by this person. One danger of dwelling on past relationships where you feel like someone wronged you is that you might begin to elevate yourself too highly as you simultaneously put this person down in your mind.
For example, if someone mistreated you and revealed how ugly their character is, it is easy to look back at that person with a smug and self-righteous attitude. While we should not pretend like we were not hurt, the healthy thing to do is to go through a season of healing where we think about what we need to think about, but then we need to forgive and move on so we don’t let negative thoughts about this person in our past corrupt us with pride. For as Romans 12:2-3 states:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”
Most Christians are familiar with Romans 12:2 where we are told to “be transformed by the renewal of the mind.” However, Romans 12:3 is often not linked to verse 2. Verse 3 explains one way in which we can renew are minds to be transformed. How can someone renew their minds? To “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”
When we compare ourselves to other people, we often elevate ourselves and think too highly of ourselves. God want us to only think about ourselves in view of the grace he has given us.
So if your thoughts about how someone has wronged you in the past are making you feel superior to this person, this is a sign God is telling you to forgive and move on.
For more information on “how” to actually stop thinking about someone in your past, you want to review my article titled, How to Stop Thinking About Someone You Liked.