What are some of the things we need to forget in order to make a success of the Christian life?
“Forgetting those things which are behind…I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:13-14).
Our Setbacks. We are too prone to brood over our losses–especially financial and material losses. But Jesus taught that the only loss which should truly concern us is the loss of the soul! (Matthew 16:26) Losing friends, or health, or job, or property, or position are bad but are also minor inconveniences compared to the excellency of gaining Christ. (Philippians 3:8)
Our Slights. We must not dwell on past grievances or injuries. Indwelling hatred or resentment poisons a person’s whole perspective on life. There is not much room for anything else in a heart filled with bitterness. “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26).
Our Successes. Many a good man has been ruined by success. Saul of Gilbeah was a noble man until he was elected king of Israel and then his life turned to tragedy. “For I say to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Romans 12:3). Let us remember that without the mercy of God we could do nothing, have nothing, be nothing.
Our Sorrows. We must not allow our sorrows to imprison us in the past. As one old preacher used to say, “We must look for life’s pearls.” “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
Our Sins. We must not allow our sins to defeat us. With God’s help, we can put them behind us. Sin can be cleansed from our lives. The blood of Christ is more powerful than sin! Let us therefore “lay aside the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
God grant us both the wisdom to know what needs to be forgotten and the will to do it!