Ecclesiastes 7:10 Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
Looking backward can be helpful at times. Its good to reflect upon your life and your past. God wants us to do that, He wants us to see how He has been there with us all along. He wants us to reflect upon the good things we have accomplished with Him, and how we have been shown His grace when we have walked our own pathways. We need to walk down that pathway sometimes (Revelation 2:5; Hebrews 10:32).
On the other hand, we have passages like the one above from Ecclesiastes that warn us about looking back as if the days behind us were “the good old days.” Solomon says, it’s not wise to look back at the past with rose-colored glasses.
We can think that America was better in a different time. Read about the roaring 20’s. That was a hundred years ago! The 30’s had a Great Depression. We were engulfed in a World War in the 40’s where millions died across the globe. How about the 50’s? Good for some, not so good for others. How about the wars, rebellion and turbulence of the 60’s? Surely it was better when Reagan was president in the 80’s? Be careful about looking back with glowing optimism. Solomon is saying, that you may get lost searching back for the good old days. Every time period has had its great things that happened and its horrible things that happened.
We can think the church was better in a different time. Is it possible to get blurry vision on what the church used to be like? The church in my glasses may have seemed great and perfect, but others may not have had the same perspective. Another may pine for the days when churches could open their doors for a gospel meeting, have a two-week long meeting, and have the building packed to the gills every night. Every guy had a suit and tie and the ladies wore dresses. Well, that may not happen again, I don’t know, but what do we do now? Pining for the past won’t move anyone forward. The past is hardly ever as wonderful as we think it was.
What we have is right now. This time. This day. This generation. Make the most of it.