Most have us have probably made this mistake at some point in our lives. It is very easy to do. But it is also one of the most crippling things that we could do to ourselves.
We look backward. We dwell on our past mistakes.
And, boy, have we made some mistakes, too:
- Saying things that were more hurtful than helpful.
- Neglecting responsibilities that we know we should have taken care of.
- Taking our schedule into our own hands at the expense of Biblical priorities.
- Failing to lend a hand to that person who needed us.
- Being poor stewards of God’s blessings.
- Just generally not loving like we should.
Yes, we asked for forgiveness, and, yes, we know that through Christ we received forgiveness. But still we just can’t seem to move on.
Why do we do this to ourselves? When has it ever helped us? Sure, we should learn from our past mistakes, but there is a difference between learning and moving forward, and getting stuck somewhere back there in the past.
Think about this verse:
As far as the east is from the west,
so far does He remove our transgressions from us.
If God has forgiven us, why haven’t we forgiven us? Do we have a higher standard than God? Let’s hope not!
Perhaps this is why Paul, reflecting on the days when he was the Pharisee of Pharisees persecuting the church, concluded:
…But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
—Philippians 3:13, 14
Focus on self is never a healthy thing, and focusing on our past mistakes is just another way of focusing on self. So instead of crippling ourselves with our errors, let’s choose a more positive action. Let’s praise God for the forgiveness we have in Christ and press on toward the goal!