But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead….” (Philippians 3:13b)
Undoubtedly, there are always things in our life that we remember; both beautiful and bad experiences. There is one thing, however, which we should always remember, and that is, not to forget God!
Being in the sinful flesh, we have the tendency to forget God, as what the bible tells us:
"Yet my people have forgotten me days without number" (Jeremiah 2:32b).
On the contrary, there are things which we should forget, that is, our past mistakes and dark past, but yet, we have the tendency to remember them. We will do well to take a leaf out of the Apostle Paul’s book:
"... But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…." (Philippians 3:13b)
Before his encounter with the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus, the apostle Paul was a most zealous persecutor of Christians; he had a deep antipathy towards Christians. After that life-changing encounter, Paul was steadfast in setting aside his past pride and dark past in persecuting the Christians, but instead ‘straining toward what is ahead’. Paul also tells us:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
As fellow believers with Paul, we ought to emulate him in forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead. It is futile to continue in self-blame and linger in guilt. What we have to do is to learn from our past and be determined not to repeat the same mistakes. Instead, we should move on, and focus all our attention and energy on what is ahead of us, that is, to press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus:
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)
When we emulate Paul, we will experience glory with God. Some of us may say, “We aren’t a Paul.” Well, we need not be a Paul; what God wants us to do is to do what Paul did, that is, to glorify Him in whatever we do.