I have trouble remembering things, simple things.
I can’t remember where I placed my keys or what I had for dinner. Interestingly, I have no trouble remembering when someone has offended me. I’m especially adept at recalling words I’ve said in anger, my missteps, and my failures. Here, my memory serves me well.
But we must forget in order to move forward. I am learning to release past wounds into God’s hands because they lose their power there.
Paul outlined his strategy for forgetting the past. Knowing his story, this was no small thing. In making his defense before King Agrippa (Acts 26), Paul recounted the kind of man he was before his encounter with Christ. In recalling his hostility toward Christians, he admitted he relentlessly pursued them, placed many in prison, and readily cast his vote against them as they were put to death.
These are the things Paul chose not to recollect. Why? Because Christ had blotted out his past.
Paul received God’s forgiveness and established the early church with the same passion he once used to pursue it. Did Paul accomplish this by self-effort? No. Christ’s power worked in him.
If Paul could forget his checkered past, we can let go of our grievances and sins. If we don’t, we neglect the higher purpose to which God has called us.
Without God’s power working in us, this strategy will fail. We can avail ourselves of the same power that worked so powerfully in Paul.
If you’re struggling with your past, forget what is behind you.
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