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, Philippians 4:13
I absolutely love our LongView family. This morning a member of the church called as I began writing today’s blog post. He was sharing three points in his “Junior High” experience where he was misunderstood, mislabeled and mistreated. Each resulting in his being sent to another school. Whether polite or forceful, being “asked” to leave three schools could have shaped his life negatively - forever. It was a point in his life where his experience could have created and then cemented a negative story about who he was. Instead, he credits those three tough times, for a successful career in management where he often had to treat and show compassion to those that he managed. Because of the way he was hurt by three principals at three schools, it became more important for him as a manager to develop a plan to help and better understand those that reported to him, rather than to fire them.
All of us have these life shaping events in our past. Those moments we can point to that have left their mark, some positive and some negative. But we also get to choose how we allow past experiences to share our present and dictate our future. See, we can either choose to believe the report of our experience(s), even if that report is backed be of 3 Junior High principals, or we can choose to believe the report told by our faith in Christ.
That is the choice Paul had to make in Philippians 4:13. He had been arrested and he was currently in prison, but he chose to keep on pursuing Christ to know Him in deeper, more meaningful ways.
I Keep Forgetting
What Paul shares with the Philippian Christians is that in order to let go of what sought to shape him, he had to do one thing. He had to continually forget his past to be able to fight forward: “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead”.
Please don’t miss that “forgetting” is a continual fight that is different than a one time “forget”. But also catch that by constantly forgetting he is now committed to “straining” forward for what is next.
I can hear your questions, lol, “But how can I forget?”. Paul’s forgetting is not denial of what he has been through. Instead, the particular Greek word used for forgetting means to escape, loosen up or lose thought of. By forgetting, Paul is not denying what happen, he is allowing God to loose him from it, so that he can move forward.
I pray this is encouraging to you. Life happens - continuously and often without apology. If we allow, we can become stuck in what has already happened or we can choose to fight forward, straining with all of our soul toward Christ and HIs resurrection power. Keep fighting, keep straining, keep seeking by letting loose the past and escaping it’s power to shape your life.
I am praying with and for you today.
Ask God to reveal the points in your life that have given shape to who you are now. Is it time to start forgetting...