Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 KJV)
I'm often haunted by my past blunders, the times my feet slipped, and the times I missed the mark. As I talk to other Christians, I find that some of them share the same grief. The Apostle Paul encourages us to leave the past behind and move forward to the things ahead.
The Apostle Paul spoke from experience when he said to leave the past behind, for he had to bear the memory of persecuting innocent believers. Rather than be a prisoner of his past, he received God's grace, enabling him to move forward and reach his potential in Christ.
Some ask, "How is it possible to forget the past when I'm reaping the consequences of my sins?" Paul's exhortation to forget the past does not mean all memory of the past is erased. Paul never forgot his former life, declaring himself the chief of sinners, yet he moved on in Christ. He encourages Christians to press on in their faith and be all they can be for Jesus. Through Christ's forgiveness, Christians can look ahead and not be held captive by wrong choices, sins, and failures. Faith moves forward and paves the way to blessings and new beginnings. The mistakes and blunders of the past do not have the final word - grace and forgiveness do.