THIS BEFORE THAT
“Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me. I keep running hard toward the finish line to get the prize that is mine because God has called me through Christ Jesus to life up there in heaven.”
At the beginning of a new year, it is not uncommon to hear people talk about new year resolutions, new year goals and new year expectations. While some speak only about the new resolutions they need to be making (but never get around to- because they fail to match their words with corresponding action), others only make a mental note of the things they’d like to do differently or see happen differently in the new year, while a third category of people, go all out and make well thought out lists of goals, expectations and prayer requests.
However, regardless of what goals a person hopes to achieve at any stage in life (new year or no new year),what’s really important is that he/she has some form of an action plan with which to achieve those goals and that he/she stays committed to following those plans no matter what in order to see those goals achieved.
Having made my own list of goals for the year- I started to think about what things I needed to do to help me succeed in achieving all of those goals. That’s when Apostle Paul’s statement in the scripture above came to mind;
“..there is one thing I do in order that i may be better able to reach my goal- I forget what lies behind” (paraphrase).
In other words, He was saying, “what i really want to do is to keep running my spiritual race until I reach the goal that God has set before me. But I’ve realized that there’s something that I must do in order to be better able to achieve that goal; I MUST FORGET what is in the past and then I’d be able to focus my attention and energy into reaching that goal and so that’s what I’ve endeavored to do ever since.” Having said this, it is my understanding that one very important thing that we must do in order to achieve our God-inspired goals in 2014 is- to forget the past.
Forgetting the past I believe will entail three things;
1. That we forget past mistakes and sins: Not every mistake is a sin. Yet, we must learn how to forget about the mistakes we’ve made and the sins we’ve committed in the past. We must forget the mistakes because its only human to make them after all and we must forget our sins, after we have repented of them because even our heavenly father forgives us and at once forgets (Isaiah 43:25).
2. That we forget past hurts: She broke your heart. He abused your trust. You lost your dad. You lost your job e.t.c. Whatever the hurt may have been in the past, we must endeavor to forget them. In the event that we were hurt by other people, we must forgive and forget. For if we fail to forgive them and forget the hurt they inflicted on us, we hinder God from forgiving us of our own trespasses and keep ourselves spiritually bound (Matthew 6:14-15; 18:32-35). But if we’ve been hurt because of the loss of someone or something dear to us, we must trust in God’s love for us and Rejoice in the knowledge that He makes everything work together for our good (Romans 8:28).
3. That we forget past successes: Yes. We must forget these too. Not in the sense that we completely forget God’s blessings and the victories that we have won through him. But rather that we refuse to spend too much time thinking on and or speaking about our past successes in such a way as to keep us from aspiring for better things. What we should do instead is be thankful for our past successes but be more mindful that better things lie ahead of us (Prov 4:18).
Thanks again for reading and I hope you do make it a habit this year to forget those things that need to be forgotten so you can reach the goals that lie ahead of you. Shalom!!!
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” (MSG)