To Move Forward, Leave the Past Behind

Sometimes we forget that the Bible is a book for all aspects of life, not just those associated with spiritual living. 90 percent of our life is lived outside church. But the rules of success in God are identical to those for success in life, all 70 to 80 years of it.

Philippians 3:14 says this in the Phillips edition. The J. B. Phillips’ version is always very practical about daily living.

Quoting Paul. “…I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal…”

Note first there is a goal.  We all have them, but before we can realize a future goal we must release the past.  In fact the Past isn’t the Past until it is dealt with; and not someone else’s past, but ours. Constant focus on the past causes a person to atrophy, to become bitter and isolated.  Misery finds comfort with other miserable people.

There is no sadder example of this than the 18 month barrage against President Donald Trump by the media and people who are not happy with him as president. If they want real change there is always the next election but instead millions of tax dollars are spent dredging up his past; nothing seems to make any difference to the public, so the public vitriol goes no where.  One group wants me to pay “reparations” for some evils of previous generations.  I can’t pay them; I have to pay my light bill.  I am living in today not yesterday.

Living in the past of hatred, blame, accusation,  ascribing guilt, all laced with 4 letter cursing (cover the children’s ears) has an exhausted American TV viewer cutting the cable and turning on the radio.

One of the first rules of life is that you can’t make anyone do anything.  We have laws which require lawbreakers to be charged in court with crimes based on past behavior, but we have no way to make other people do right in the future –  no drug, no food, no law can force another person to act in any particular better way. All the charges, allegations, denunciations and invective have not changed the President one bit.  And it won’t affect change on your spouse, your children, or the co-workers on the job.

Expecting others to change simply won’t work.  If you want change, you start by changing yourself. And if we do not change, our lives become increasingly ineffective. How we spend our money, how we spend our time will determine whether we are living in the past or “pressing on to that high calling in Christ” that Paul refers to, a goal that is beyond ourselves and beyond the touch of others’ and their malaise.

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