HAVING TROUBLE WITH YOUR PAST?

The apostle Paul challenged himself and all Christians to keep moving forward in the Christian walk of faith: “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13–14, NKJV).

When Paul said he was “forgetting those things which are behind,” he referred to not looking back at past relationships, memories, failures, temptations, or anything that might distract from a single-minded focus on “the upward call of God in Christ.” To inspire his audience,

The word forgetting in Philippians 3:13 means “dismissing from the mind or paying no attention to.” To “forget” in this way is to stop dwelling on something.  Forgetting what is behind” is Paul’s way of saying, “Don’t look back! Stop dwelling on the past.

How do things which are behind us hinder our progress in spiritual growth?

Holding onto emotions like bitterness and unforgiveness can slow us down and even keep us locked in the past. Rehearsing conflicts and rehashing hurtful episodes will only open old wounds. Peter urged us to be done with these things: “So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. The Christian life is lived with our eyes facing forward on Jesus Christ.

How are we doing today with the past relationships and events of our lives that have created agonizing moments for us, our families and friends?  Are we moving forward or are we stuck in another time, another place, another life?

I heard a good one.  “A rattlesnake, if cornered, will sometimes become so angry it will bite itself. That is exactly what the harboring of hate and resentment against others is—a biting of oneself.” We think that we are harming others in holding resentments and hate toward others, but the deeper harm is to ourselves.

Is it time for you to move forward and move on in your life?  Need some help?  Let me ask you something else?  Do you need to seek forgiveness from someone that you have harmed with your words and actions toward them?  What is God asking you to do?

RUSS HOBBS MINISTRIES, contact me at e-mail rhobbs@dejazzd.com

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