Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Instead of unpacking this entire passage, which is well worth the time, I’d like to focus on how to apply it to family life in particular. We know God’s desire for our families: love Him, love one another, serve one another, be at peace with one another, forgive one another, and enjoy one another. It’s a goal we can all agree on, but most of us aren't there, yet. So how do we move forward?
The “good” Christian life is not a destination, but rather, a journey. Perfection can be pursued, but not achieved…so we must learn to do the journey well, and leave the perfection up to God for us to experience at a later date (i.e. Heaven). If your family is struggling to love one another well, then I have two questions for you:
- Does is bug you?
- Do you honestly want it to improve?
Assuming you have answered “yes” to both questions, let’s turn to Paul’s words in today’s passage. First, confess your family’s failures…repent…seek forgiveness…learn from them, then forget’em! Second, strain together to move the battle forward…to love God better, as well as one another. Put your backs (and your hearts) into it. Don’t give up! Finally, don’t forget the prize at the end of the road: eternal life in Paradise with the Lord! Never give up. Never surrender. Never lose hope.
APPLICATION: Spend time in prayer as a family, confessing the sins of the past, turning from them, and seeking forgiveness. Ask the Lord to give your family an intense desire to move the battle forward! To press on towards the goal! To win the prize that awaits you in Heaven!