Philippians 3:13 (NIV)
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,”
Forgetting the past…We are encouraged that in order to move forward that we must forget the past…but how? It’s impossible to not think of things that hurt us? shameful things we did? painful days? Some of those things, when we’re honest with ourselves, we will always remember. So, why does Paul say, “forgetting the past?” How can you say you will never look back again? The key isn’t in not remembering, but how you remember. It’s not in not looking back, but why you look back.
It’s your frame of mind. Remember Lot’s wife? God allowed Lots family to escape the destruction of Sodom, but was warned to not look back. (Genesis 19:17). They were leaving behind an evil city. They were leaving behind friends, they were leaving behind belongings. The bible doesn’t say why she looked back, but why do we look back on something that we liked or enjoyed and are forced to suddenly leave it? We sometimes look back with fondness and regret of leaving it behind. Paul used to persecute the church. It’s certain that he never ‘forgot’ those shameful days, so how could he say ‘forgetting the past’? The key is forgetting how you view the past. It’s forgetting your frame of mind. Paul didn’t look back fondly on his shameful days. In fact, his mind couldn’t see how he could have let himself behave that way. HE FORGOT HOW TO THINK THAT WAY. Have you ever dated someone, or been in a relationship that at one time you felt you couldn’t live without that person? You were sooooo deep in love. But, after that relationship ended, suddenly one day you just didn’t feel that way anymore. You couldn’t even see, or remember how you felt so deeply in love with them. You may even say, “I can’t even see what I saw in them”. Think about it and fill in the blank in this statement…”I can’t even see what I used to enjoy about________.”
See how you can remember your past and forget it at the same time? When your frame of mind changes, the way you think about something, your attitude towards something changes…you have forgotten that aspect if your past. You CAN’T think of it that way any more, even if you try. It’s like a food or drink that you used to love, and now not only can you not stand the taste, but can’t remember how you once enjoyed it.That’s the essence of repentance. Repentance isn’t asking for forgiveness to avoid punishment, but it’s godly sorrow over what you’ve done, and committing to turn from that behavior (2 Corinthians 7:10), but that’s another lesson…coming soon:-) For now, see I told you that you can FORGET THE PAST.
Remember Lot’s wife