Each day is the scholar of yesterday. (Publilius Syrus) It is indeed a challenge to remain "current" on all that yesterday taught, isn't it? In fact, there are probably times we want to be a little the ostrich and bury our heads in the sand because the lessons are just too hard or we just don't want to be "bothered" any longer with whatever it is we have been learning. Teachers everywhere will tell us how difficult it becomes to teach kids as summer vacation approaches. Their attention is directed to the summer fun and less onto the lessons of the hour! If we really want to remain vibrant and growing, we need to continually being looking at the things we can learn from what we did yesterday. It doesn't mean we live in the past, but that we take inventory of what the day offered, how it is we can "use" what we took away from that day (the good and the bad), and how it is we can put all that into good use for our day today!
Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. (Proverbs 1:2-6 NLT)
The Proverbs were written to help us understand the insights of others who have already figured out a few things in this lifetime. There is something to be said about listening to wise counsel and then putting into practice the wisdom we glean from that counsel. It sure beats making the same mistakes over and over again because we really didn't know what to do with what we were given in our day! What God did for us in giving us the 66 books of our Bible is to record for us the things which help us take away the lessons of yesterday - the history that perhaps shouldn't repeat itself as well as that which is pretty doggone awesome! One thing is for sure - we all have "yesterday" experiences we definitely don't want to relive! We want to put them as far from us as possible, but if we stop for just a moment to consider what it is we take away from those experiences, we note things such as not responding the same way, avoiding that particular "trigger point" again, etc.
Yesterday has a value of its own - it gives us insight into how we may deal with today. When we "run through" our yesterday merits and demerits, we find it possible to maybe have a few less of those same demerits today, but also to capitalize on the merits whenever possible. If I totally botched a relationship opportunity yesterday, I may not be presented with exactly the same opportunity today, but I can allow how I handled it yesterday to affect how I will handle that relationship today. I might be making a path to someone to ask their forgiveness for my behavior, or even taking a moment to thank that other person for pointing out some things to me I had not considered, but which were definitely causing me some issues in my relationships. Even the "bad stuff" has a lesson in it. We may not want to ever examine it again to find that lesson, but the value of us doing so today, when we are less "in the thick of it", is that we often see clearer what was a little foggier just yesterday!
While God doesn't want us to dwell in the past, he does value us taking lesson from it - allowing it to influence how we will make new decisions today and what it is we will spend our resources focusing on now. Just sayin!