“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)
If there is one thing that I’ve learned about grace is that it requires a great deal of forgetfulness. We can never show true grace if we are constantly bringing to mind the sins of others. So we learn to let go, to surrender. To love when we have no logical reason to.
And yet, when I let myself down, when I fail to do what I know I should- or do what I know I shouldn’t- I find it so hard to forget. I relive and relive, always thinking of how I should have acted differently. Worded that better. Withheld this judgment. I should have cared more. I should have cared less.
I’m thankful for that tendency. It’s because of my almost painful self-consciousness that I’ve learned to be more careful with the way I speak and how I treat people. But I know full well that it’s the kind of thinking that can easily spiral into self-loathing.
Forgetting what lies behind..
Sometimes the hardest thing that we can do is forget. We drag our past mistakes with us, far past the place where we can learn from them anymore. Because forgetting feels like weakness. Because we are just so used to the weight. Because we just don’t know how to open up our hands and let go.
But what good is it to be forgiven if we don’t move forward?
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36 ESV)
I press on toward the goal..
I’ve often made the mistake of thinking that we are freed from the burden of the past so that we can enjoy the present. But it’s about far more than that. It’s about pressing on. It’s about moving in the direction of something far greater than anything this world has to offer.
We forget what is behind us because what is in front of us is so incredible that nothing else matters. Not the mistakes I made. Not my weaknesses. Not what everyone else is thinking about me.