. . . But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
We have all made mistakes. I know I have made a few whoppers in my time. We all have been hurt by the words or actions of others. Some have left deep gashing wounds in our hearts. So why did Paul urge his followers to forget what lay behind? What about history repeating itself?
We are called to be imitators of Christ. Through Him, God not only forgives our sins, shortcomings and slip ups, He actually says in Scripture that He forgets them. No grudges held. Now is a new day. Slate wiped clean. No residual chastising for past mistakes. No remember whens.
The Evil One can put a wedge between us and God’s grace if we dwell on the past. Paul knew this well. After all, he had been slaughtering Christians in his religious fervor before Christ confronted him on the road to Damascus. If he had let his guilt take over, he could not have done God’s will by spreading the Truth throughout the Roman empire. But Paul knew deep in his heart he was forgiven through and through. That replaced the other memories and spawned not only a grateful heart but a new fervor of love for Christ’s people.
Doctors are discovering that up to 90% of our physical illnesses can be related to or worsened by an unforgiving heart and hurtful memories festering in our souls. If there is something that is nagging at your soul, something like a spiritual popcorn hull stuck in your teeth that you just can’t release, go to God with it. Drop it at the foot of the Cross and ask for the wound to be healed over, once and for all. It may be the hardest thing you have ever done, but Christ is there to help you do it, and see you through it. God can take the past and transform it into a catalyst for His message of love, mercy and truth not only to you, but to others through you. Let Him prove it to you.