Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. 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.
Today in church, our minister read the preceding verse. His message was on forgiving ourselves for things in our past, but not necessarily forgetting those things lest we make the same mistakes again. He said that we must forgive our past sins in order to look to the future, in order to grow spiritually. We all have things in our past which are difficult to let go, but until we can do so, we may be hindering ourselves in our walk with God. We may ask God to forgive us, but do we really forgive ourselves? Until we can, we may never be able to move forward toward the goal of a closer relationship with Him, a closer walk in faith.
My goal for this year is to examine those things for which I've never been able to just let go. This week, during the first month of a new year, is a good time to begin this journey of letting go of the past. As simple as it sounds, that is one of the hardest things for some of us to do. But it's time. We all should take the time to look back, remember, let go, and move forward. I am ready to release the past and replace it with God's love and mercy.