“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 NIV
These words were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by Paul. Paul had quite the checkered past. He was a persecutor of Christians, and approved of their imprisonment and execution. God performed a hostile takeover of Paul’s heart and made him a passionate missionary. It makes sense that a man like that would want to forget what was behind, and focus on the future. So, what is there in your past that you can’t seem to forget? God promises that when we confess our sins, He forgives them. (1 John 18-9) He forgives them because Jesus was punished in our place. God goes so far as to say that He remembers our sins no more. (Jeremiah 31:34) It’s one thing to learn from our sins and not repeat them, but even then, we’re looking forward, not back. We may have hurt people with our past actions. The best we can do is express our sorrow, seek to right the wrong if possible, but then we move on and focus on the future. For those with faith in Christ, there is no reason why past sins should trouble us. God forgives you for Jesus’ sake. Forgive yourself and focus on what lies ahead: a life of service to God and others, and an eternity of perfection in heaven.