Paul's wise theory of life
(J.R. Miller, "Breaking Away from Our Past")
"But one thing I do: 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!" Philippians 3:13-14
We have here Paul's wise theory of life — progress by forgetting, by letting go of the things that are past.
"Forgetting what is behind." Probably most of us have done things we would much like . . .
to leave behind,
to blot out from memory,
to cut altogether loose from,
to bury in oblivion.
We cannot turn back the hands of the clock, that we may have any day over again. But we may bring to God all the mistakes, the follies, the sins — and He will forgive us, and then use even these poor broken things for good.
A traveler tells of finding a place beside the sea, where many ships were dashed upon the rocks — and a beautiful house built altogether from pieces of wreckage gathered from the shore.
That is about the best many of us can do. We have little else to bring to God but wreckage — disobediences, broken commandments, mistakes, sins. Yet it is a wonderful thought that even with such materials, if we are truly penitent and repentant — our Master will work, helping us to build beauty in our lives. Sins forgiven become lessons for us. Out of a past full of failures, we may make a future full of strength and beauty — through the grace of Christ. We cannot forget our sins, but we may be wiser and better for them.