“But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” Philippians 3:13
Recently I had the opportunity to visit and reflect on mistakes I’ve made in the past. This was not an opportunity I welcomed. Nor one I enjoyed much. It reminded me once again how far from perfect I am. I saw every flaw and felt the embarrassment, pain, and suffering all over again. I began to think about how many people noticed these flaws and who might be talking about them behind my back. It made me feel awful.
As we celebrate the beginning of a New Year, this verse is a reminder to me to put the past behind and look to the great things God has planned for my future! We have all made mistakes, but that’s the awesome thing about God. He knows that, and it’s ok. He still loves us despite them if we have a repentant heart.
As I began this post and thought about what to write, I reflected on a comment I overheard someone say. In a nutshell, they said now that it’s a new year we can forget everything from last year and move on. I knew what they meant, but it made me stop and think. I wondered if that’s really what God wants. Does He want us to forget last year? Yes, I know we are to press forward, to look forward to the new year, but did Paul really mean forgetting everything that happened last year? Or was he more specific, like maybe we aren’t supposed to dwell on our mistakes from the past but instead learn from them and move on?
The next day I had my answer. I started a new devotional for the year, and the title for that day’s devotion was “Remembrance.” I chuckled at the irony of it and let God speak to me. When I finished, I closed the book in awe of what God reminded me. When things get difficult, it’s important to remember the times when God showed up for us. When did we feel His presence? When did we see His hand working in a difficult situation?
Does It Matter What We Think? The New Year is a time to celebrate, and in a sense start over with a clean slate. But don’t forget the times when God was there for you last year. When you face the first difficult situation of the New Year, reflect on what God did for you last year, then look ahead and keep on, keeping on!