The words of Philippians 3:13 have been running through my mind for the last week or so. The verse reads:

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

The specific part of the verse that keeps popping up for me is the words “forgetting what lies behind.” I want to say that I am eager to strain forward in my relationship with Jesus and that I want to deepen my connection with Him. Verse 13 suggests that to move in that direction, I need to forget what lies behind me. To forget means to not allow things from the past to dominate or determine the present or the future.

As I ponder that part of the verse, I am left to wonder if I am allowing things from the past to harm my soul and connection with Jesus. I get the sense from verse 13 that if we do not address the past, including hurts, mistakes, and sinful choices we made, the stuff behind us might well dominate our present and future. That would seem to leave us with our emergency brakes on as we rev our engines to strain forward. Doing that might generate heat, smoke, and noise, but not much progress. That is sobering to me. I wonder how much time I have spent revving my engine by ignoring rather than addressing my past. Ignoring is not forgetting. Ignoring is avoiding bringing God’s grace and truth to my past. Folks, can I encourage you to join me in bringing God’s grace and truth to our pasts so that we can make true progress.