Our Jan.1 edition ended with, “Next week we’ll go back to where we left off, 1983………!”
No, we won’t go back to 1983 yet, as I have something to share that connects with last week. I quoted the apostle Paul when he said, “……one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” In other words, forgetting the past and reaching out to the future. And what a “past” Paul had! Just imagine, he had persecuted Christians, had put them in prison and even had some murdered! Can you imagine the guilt he must have had? After his conversion he may have even met up with the children of some of these, whose lives may have been ruined, how did that make him feel? But he knew he could not undo what he had done, he could not change the past, and so, instead of wallowing in regret and thus ruining his life, he accepted God’s forgiveness and pressed on, and what a difference he made all over the world!
I sort of know how Paul must have felt. I have also made serious mistakes in the past, and I have some real regrets, but I also know I cannot turn the clock back or undo what I have done wrong. And the enemy of my soul is very clever and very persistent in bringing up the past and continually accusing me of my failures. And that can at times really paralyze me. I would think that some of my readers, or maybe even many of you also sit with guilt and regret as to the past. And you also know about those accusations of the enemy. And at times you just wished you could turn the clock back and undo what you have said or done, but that is not possible.
So what to do? First we need to confess to God what we have done wrong, and then accept His forgiveness. Secondly, we need to confess to the person or persons we have wronged. And thirdly we need to deal with the past once for all, as God did with our sins on the cross, where they were dealt with once for all and He remembers them no more, EVER! Let us not wallow in regret, it doesn’t change anything, except it will seriously hurt ourselves. Do what the apostle said, forget what’s behind and move forward.
What a tremendous way to begin a new year. The past is done, guilt is dealt with and now we move forward for God and our fellow human beings. Let’s seek to change the world as Paul, the murderer did. (Go to Musings).