‘No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.’ Philippians 3:13-14
Paul had reason to forget the past—he had held the coats of those who had stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Acts 7:57-58, Paul is called Saul here). We have all done things for which we are ashamed, and we live in the tension of what we have been and what we want to be. Because our hope is in Christ, however, we can let go of past guilt and look forward to what God will help us become. Don’t dwell on your past. Instead, grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on your relationship with him now. Realize that you are forgiven, and then move on to a life of faith and obedience. Look forward to a fuller and more meaningful life because of your hope in Christ. (Life Application Study Bible).
How fitting, the last couple of days the question is whether we have a guide. It was clear that the Bible and all its wisdom is an excellent guide.
When we want to change our lives, we leave a past. There is something that we are not proud of. Paul murdered Christian and then on the road to Damascus, he had an encounter with God. Realised that his old way is not fitting. What is your way?
As scripture and commentary say, there is nothing we have to be ashamed of. God forgives us. What is remarkable to me is that people don’t forgive. They seem to hang on to your wrongs to cover their insecurities and transgression.
I think of relationships which all start from liking to loving. Yes, not all erotic love. Love has many forms. Pay attention to these words. “Love is patient and kind. “Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” A Quote from 1 Corinthians 13.
The point is we need to love and forgive; we have a new life in Christ.
I thank you, God, Amen.