Forgetting What Lies Behind And Pressing On

Clinging to the past… 

It’s a mistake many of us have made… I confess, I’ve done more than my share of it…

But, it accomplishes nothing.  

Maybe we were hurt in the past… we may have a tendency to hang onto it.  To nurse a grudge.. and we may have legit reasons for feeling the way we do but, whatever happened is done yet, if we hang onto it, it prevents us from moving on and enjoying life.  I know this first-hand because I’ve done it.

Or, maybe we made a mistake in the past… if we aren’t careful, a mistake in the past can prevent us from trying again… we are afraid we are going to mess up so we don’t act.  

Churches have a tendency to hang onto the past… especially if there were some “golden years” in the churches past.  The people love to talk about “the good ole” days and reminisce about events from those years.  I knew a guy once who was a member of a church when a certain noteworthy Pastor was there.  The guy took pride in telling people he was there when that Pastor was there.  But that Pastor had been gone years.  

Or, maybe a person loves to talk about their glory years.  Maybe they had a prestigious job or accomplished some great things in the past and they love to tell people what they did.  

Someone said once that if all we can do is talk about the past, that may indicate we aren’t doing anything in the present.  

In the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul said, “forgetting what lies behind… I press on…”. Paul had been a rising star in Judaism.  He was “going places” so to speak. But Paul was converted and his life changed.  So, Paul says, “forgetting what lies behind…”. Paul was not going to cling to his past.  He was pressing on. 

We should do the same.  

Did someone hurt you in the past?  Ok, it happened but, by God’s grace move forward.

Did you make a mistake?  Ok, learn from it and move forward.

Did something great happen and you love to talk about it?  Ok, enjoy it for a while but then, move on.

Nick Saban, Head Coach at the University of Alabama used to have the “24 hour rule.”  After a victory or loss, he let his team either enjoy it or think about it 24 hours but then, it was time to move on to the next opponent.  Maybe we should implement a 24-hour rule in our lives.  

Whatever is in the past… hurt… mistakes… good times… it’s done… it’s in the past… press on.  

I have a poem on my wall in my office entitled, “The Lifebuilders Creed.”  Here are some of the lines..

“Today is the most important day in my life.

Yesterday with its successes and victories, 

Struggles and failures is gone forever.  

The past is past.



I cannot relive it.

I can’t go back and change it.

I will learn from it and improve my TODAY.  

With the Lord’s help, let’s stop clinging to the past… 

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