The Other Thing Patrick Henry Said

Patrick Henry, whose primary contribution to the history books is the phrase “Give me liberty or give me death,” made another statement that appears in a number of quotation collections.

He said, “I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.”

Repeat this before an audience and you’ll see heads nod in agreement. It has the ring of good common sense.

Be careful, though. This axiom might be true when applied to politics or history or investing, but it provides a lousy foundation in other areas of life.

And it certainly doesn’t reflect the way God relates to us.

God gives a chance to let go of the past and start over — each and every day. Jeremiah wrote…

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

God doesn’t judge our future by our past. He didn’t do it with David or Moses or Peter or Paul or countless other Bible characters. And he doesn’t do it with you.

He does not treat us as our sins deserve. (Psalm 103:10)

Every day meets us brand new. A good way to start the day with God is to remember that you’ve just been given new mercies — the opportunity to begin this day with a clean slate.

This is also a good way to begin the day with others. God doesn’t allow the past to stand in the way of your future; let’s give the same gift to one another.