God wants us to be forward thinking. We can celebrate what we’ve accomplished, but it’s not good for us to keep living in the past.
How many headliners from the recent past do you remember? For example:
- Who are the five wealthiest people in the world?
- Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
- Who were the last five winners of the Miss America crown?
- Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor, actress and film.
- Who won the World Series each year for the last decade?
Very few of us remember the headliners of yesterday. There are no second-rate achievers on the list above. They’re the absolute best in their fields. But the fame fades and the applause soon dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be successful and to be the best in your field. But you don’t want to live in the past.
God wants us to be forward thinking. We can celebrate what we’ve accomplished but it’s not good for us to keep living in the past. In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul writes: “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.”
What about the part of our past that’s not real likable? The kind of things we’d like to forget. We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of and wish they never would have happened.
Sometimes we can be prisoners to our past by trying to imagine how different our life could have been.
When our hope is in Jesus we can let go of past guilt and look forward to what God wants us to become. Instead of dwelling on the past – whether it was positive or negative – concentrate on growing in your relationship with God now. Become the person He designed you to be. Recognize that you’re forgiven; thank God for what He allowed you to accomplish in the past; then make a conscious decision to move ahead.
You can look forward to a life of meaning and purpose when your hope is in Jesus.